Sunday, May 31, 2009

An Old Time-y Village, Drinking from a Jar, Hearses, and My Crack

Life at school totally sux right now. We are getting ready for DARE graduation and as piffly as the production has become (we used to do an actual play with scripts written by my co workers and myself) it's still stressful. And grading tests (a pile, no kidding, a foot high), and end of year junk, and Swine Flu is sinking its delicious, bacon-y hands into the district slowly. Then we walk in on Friday and Mrs. A found this in her room.

Yes, that is the ceiling missing up there, pic taken on the cell phone. The building is literally falling apart. The ceiling fell in in another area last year when Mrs. A was pregnant with Emma (the baby from such well known FOs as Emma Baby Surprise and Emma Baby Bolero). Thank the Gods both times there were no children in the room. The debris fell with such force that the closet was thrown open and the crap cascaded out.

My room hasn't caved in yet, but yet is the key word there. This is my crack...get your mind out of the gutter...not that kind of crack...this kind.

That's in my fucking classroom, ladies and gents, like, where my young students and I do math all day. I think that the pic does it no justice. It looks as if there's some kind of weird coloring inside the crack. Mold?? Who knows?

First you saw my crack, now I'll show you my nipple. I call this one the nipple b/c it has an areola made of water stain and mold-looking-browniness and it leaks water whenever it rains.

Last year the nipple that is located on the ceiling just outside my room against a wall adjacent to my crack was patched and I thought it was gone for good...but the tit came back the very next year. It is grosser looking in person, but you get the idea. If someone from my district somehow sees this, which they won't, and gets pissed...I am one of the district's most loyal employees. I could get a job and teach elsewhere but won't not b/c I can't, but b/c even though times are tough now I fucking love my job. I love the town, I adore my students, I love my co workers, and some how my freakin' rockin' supervisor, Also Mrs. G, has made me a math obsessive. All I want is for more effort to be put into giving the kids what they deserve...the least restrictive learning environment. My little guys have to look at this stuff every day, climb over the mountains of other obstacles such as language issues, community dysfunction, and poverty, and still compete with the suburban kids' test scores. But they keep their spirits up. They are awesome little minions.:)

Anyway, after a week like that I was drooling for the weekend this time around. First, these are the people in my neighborhood.

Mr. G hooked us up with a bird feeder and we are the popular food joint in the 'burbs. I know they're not unusual birds, but I could watch them for hours. They are beautiful. The shot below was my favorite. She or he looked like she or he was posing.

So, Mrs. L, Griffin's mom, called me up and asked if Mr. G and I would join her, her hubbie, and the Griffster on Saturday to visit Museum Village in Monroe, NY for a gem show and then an antique show @ Ramapo College. Mrs. L and I love gem shows, and I needed a break, so I agreed.

The five of us (Mrs. L, Mr. L, Griffin, Mr. G, and GrimmWitch myself) drove there and I got to sit next to Grif, which was a complete pleasure. He is by far the most easy going and delightful baby of all time and I thoroughly enjoyed his company. The gem show set up all around the small lost in time village was a 4 out of 10 as far as gem shows go, but the fact that it was inside the historic-y setting was a huge plus. The number of vendors would be massively dwarfed by the number at any other show we go to in NJ or NY.

The village is a conglomeration of genuine and reproduction buildings brought from all different places and reconfigured by the land owner similarly to poor Waterloo Village in NJ (Corzine, get off your fat ass and help Waterloo!). Although people dress in period clothing and do demos, there were none there on Saturday. Mr. G was very disappointed that he didn't get to chat with any "old time-y people." He did take some great pics of the place. Here's the schoolhouse.

Notice the lack of crack in this room when compared to my own classroom. It is equipped with a dunce chair in the left hand corner (I would have lived on that!:)

The Village also has a Natural History building. NJ has had some great dino finds throughout the state's history, so I was not surprised about fossils being on display, but this was great!

And they also have the biggest giant sloth skeleton I've ever seen. That includes the one from NYC.

There were some really beautiful Victorian carrage hearses in another building. Morbid, but I am the GRIMMWitch after all.

I love the finials on this one. The fabric is still there.

After the Village we ate at the Mason Jar. I had lovely Eggs Florentine and we drank our beverages from mason jars, hence the name.
The antique fair @ Ramapo was also really wonderful. There were so many beautiful things, but most were a little too expensive for a young couple with a new mortgage. Mr. G ate a deep fried Twinky that I didn't get a chance to shoot a pic of...but before he bit into it it looked like a corn dog. I did get one non-antique thing.

So scrumptiously Anne Taintor-esque, and so true. Do I have to go back to work on Monday?
Finally, I finished the Ribbed Lace Bolero from 10 feet high. I really love it.

See, I am the designers neck twin...(see previous post).

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Step aside, Tim

I'm watching The Fashion Show as I type. This is Bravo's response to having lost my beloved Project Runway. I love Tim Gunn's sophisticated yet nurturing approach and Heidi's very present fashion background. She's not just a model, but clearly loves the art. So sad that the show's been lost to Lifetime. I mean, who cares what channel it's on, but I never watch Lifetime. I love so many of the Bravo shows. PR belongs there. Honestly, the fans should not have to wait for what I believe to be an already filmed season.

Anyway, the new show is good. At least I'm enjoying it. I don't see how Kelly Roland fits in. Is that how you spell her name? It means so little to me I'm not even going to look it up. Might as well have my sista' PepperBal from Geek of All Trades or someone co host. At least Pepper has an art background. I don't know Kelly's background...but I also can't see knowledge about fashion shining through. Isaac Mizrahi, on the other hand, I feel is someone who really has something to teach.

Smudge-wise, this little guy is just on a roll with the Magellan-y explorer mode. His most recent endeavor? He jumped into the top of his cardboard maze. Not a big deal for most buns, but this dude was five minuutes from the Pearlly Purlly Gates less than a year ago.

He's so cute! I love him!:)

I'm still working on the Thank you Socks, but hopefully will be done by Wednesday or Thursday. I'm also working on the Ribbed Lace Bolero from 10 feet high. I think I'd have it done already except for all the migraines I've can see the bottom of the OTC meds in the pic below:(

I like the pattern very much, and the side pics the pattern sports looks like me - very weird to look at sometimes 'cause I wear my hair like that too.

Photo from 10 feet high

As of 6/13 though I'll be freaked out with color as I have a hair appointment am want to go crazy. I am so excited! I'm still trying to harvest ideas from the net and still don't know what I'll do.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Code PINK!

Check out Knitting Like It's my Job's Megan posting about CODE PINK. She knitted quite a few squares for the project the group recently had. I'm not going to describe it...just go look at it. And if you're in support of the war I'm sure you can still appreciate the enormous effort!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mark & Mark of Weird NJ on TODAY

I am not a fan of Kathy Lee but I do think its appropriate that she use her music to punish people. Mark & Mark as wealths of knowledge and true examples of lifetime learners. I guessed right on everything except the hot dog question.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Mom's post about Annette & Thank's to Mrs. S.

photo by Lupie of Knitting with my Mother's Hands

Lupie posted about the ChalkDust Knitter who just passed away, Annette. She was Pat and Karen's teacher and was incredibly gifted. She will be missed.

I'd like to say thanks to my friend, Mary aka Mrs. S. She was unable to go to see Billy Elliot on Broadway with a gaggle of my co workers on Friday and gave me her ticket. I was kind of afriad to see this with my co-workers b/c the story itself brings out so many emotions in me and connections to my own life that I can't help but be totally moved. I said what the hell, though, and had an immensely wonderful time.

First we ate at Becco in NYC. The food was good, but I don't know if I'd go back. I did have a good time. I sat by a few of my co workers I don't often get to spend time with and it was very nice to get to know them a bit better. My friend, Mrs. L, found out she is getting transfered come September and I got to spend some time laughing and bs-ing with her and that was great too. I'm going to miss her very much when she's working in another school, but I feel that that environment will be a wonderful change from the issue-weighty place we all work now.

The musical was totally amazing and I basically cried through the whole thing:) But it was good crying. Mrs. L. was roaring with laughted at the fact that I couldn't stop.

To thank Mary for the ticket I've started a pair of socks for her.

Here's the first of the two being made from Aussi Sock I purchased at Yarn Diva. I love this yarn and want to pick up some more. Beneath the sock is the second volume of Fables. I'm really enjoying the story and recommend it.

And in the wonderful world of Bun, Smudge jumped up to the kitchen level from the sunken family room at around 6:30 this morning. Congrats, little man!:)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Yippie! Jaywalkers

I know this took me forever to finish, but I just kept putting it down to knit baby stuff...these women around me keep getting knocked up:) I really did like the pattern. It was fun to knit and I would love to make another pair but ... my co worker, Mrs. B, came in today with a sonogram pick of her next grandbaby due in November. I'm planning on making something for the big brother 1st and then the then they'll know the gender.
So I stole these for a moment to model them.

And for anyone who counts themselves as a Birthday Massacre fan, the new live album is out on iTunes.

Sometimes live albums suck, but this one is great. It has all my favorites, and the sound quality is good. I just love to turn it up loud - because I don't have to worry about bothering people in the next apartment now that I'm in my little Hobbit house (I love it) and dance like crazy.

Monday, May 11, 2009

My Mother's Day with Spock

I felt so bad b/c my gift for my mom were the Jaywalkers and I didn't finish them in time, but for anyone who knows her or reads her blog I bet you'd guess she's not one for Mother's Day. She thinks any time you show your mother you love and appreciate her is mother's day enough. But I did go and hang out with her for a while.

After spending some time with Mama Lupie and dear old Dad on an adventure to a yarn store in JC that turned out to be closed (thanks a lot, your e-mail stated you'd be opened until 6 - we went all the way out there for nothing, butthole) I went back to spend the rest of my Mother's Day with Mr. G. Hopefully the last one where no one has a need to buy me stuff if you know what I mean (keep your fingers crossed like, forever:)

We went up to Nyack and saw...are ya' ready...STAR TREK

Two words...

Fucking Awesome

Mr. G and I saw it on the IMAX screen. I had my first ripping migrane in a while but was so glad that I didn't go home. I first watched the original Star Trek as a teen in high school when one of my teachers gave a mini class on its social commentary subtext and got hooked. I just loved the story lines and I had a thing for Leonard Nimoy:)

Why is Spock so irresistable? Am I the only one who feels like this...anyway...Zachary Quinto did an amazing job (as did all the actors...the dude who played McCoy rocked the roll - he must have watched the shows over and over to get the speech inflections down pat). And Quinto, who's striking in Heros (he makes you wanna be bad) was just as hot here.

Leonard Nimoy was in the film as well...I won't go into detail...but I gotta say, still good looking. And I love the way he approaches the dynasty that birthed his fame. He seems to enjoy and appreciate Star Trek. Not like the other one you-know-who-I-mean.

The writing was wonderful, the plot I found to be completely well crafted (not like poor Wolverine although I do like Hugh Jackman). It was just a great film.

Whilst at the mall I was able to get my Weird NJ. Don't know why the Borders by me has been dragging its feet to get it in...but I have it now and have been carrying it and the first volume of Fables around with me all day.

We have the NJ ASK this week and it is a little tiny nightmare. In frustration on Friday as we crammed I called the Smartboard a bastard outloud and didn't realize until it was too late. The kids asked me if I was scared and I had to level with them. I just hate the test. I am nervous. It seems people think that it's okay to judge the kids and the teachers on the results and it's totally not okay. I hate seeing their little faces contorted with stress or listless with boredom as they wait for the minutes to drain away when they're done and are not permitted to draw or read. I have a homeroom full of young humanists and artists. These kids draw in their sleep. How can I tell them not to draw?!? Testing is like going to the dentist and sitting in the waiting room listening to the patient before you scream as the drill growls...but waiting for an entire week.

Back to something less hellish..I also picked up one of the newest Living Dead Dolls. This series is based on urban legends. I chose the hook man.

Alrighty...I'm off to finish the Jaywalkers. Hopefully I'll have picks tomorrow.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

On Lupie and her Mom

Although I was just sitting here watching cartoons (what else is new) I do on occasion have adult conversations that do not focus on comics, video games, knitting, teaching, Science Fiction, movies, or zombie epidemics.

A friend and I were discussing motherhood last week. She was describing how lost she felt when she had her first child because, having not known her own mother, she had no example to follow. Thirty some odd years and four devoted, successful children later I can attest to the fact that she made it amazingly and did so without a leader.

I however, when the gods decide to bless me with a child, will have a wonderful example to follow. If anyone were to at any point ask me to name the most remarkable people I've ever known, Lupie and my grandmother would be my first two answers.
Remarkable because they were always determine and unwavering even in the face of the insurmountable.
Remarkable because they seem to simply shrug off the most intense physical pain.
Remarkable because they somehow had the power to make the wonderful out of very little or nothing.
Remarkable because they always pulled from an endless well of patience.
Remarkable because with nothing more than open ears and shoulders to cry on they wiped away all my worries.
Remarkable because they hands on my forehead packed more punch against a headache than a bottle of Excedrin.
Remarkable because they were able to bring learning to rival any trip to an amusement park or circus in level of enjoyment.
Remarkable because they never wanted me to forget that although they wore capes in my heart they were human.
Remarkable because they showed me that mothers can be superheros.

Thank you, Gramma, I miss you.
Thank you, Mom, I love you.
I'm still not done with your freakin' gift.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Grey Gardens

Little Edie at Grey Gardens in 1975.
Photo: Getty Images

I'm facinated. Watch the documentary, some of which was on youtube, and then the HBO film and swear to me that sometimes you don't feel five minutes from Little Edie. I admire her ballsyness.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

I want to go here


Long time no see, long post to come

It's been a long, long while. What have I been up to...honestly, being an infant and surrenduring to a "hard time". I kept moving and shaking, but inside I've really allowed myself to surrender to my frustrations one too many times...but I'm human, you know. I stuck to my guns and didn't go to library school this semester. I'm glad b/c I had more time to devote to moving in. This house is a definate highlight in my life! I don't care what anyone else would have to say about it...too tiny, to old fashioned...I thought I'd never have one and now I do and I think it's great!:) We have done quite a bit in the short time we've been here.

Some B4 & afters...
the bedroom...
All we did here was paint. Is it blue? Is it purple? My husband's grandfather painted the pre-raphielite there.


It's a previous bedroom that joins our own through a blasted out wall. They were using it as an office. We're kinda leaving it open incase we need a nursery (cross your fingers, but it's been like two years and no dice yet).


Mr. GrimmWitch has his compputer set up in there and we have a window seat sort of table with Smudge stuff and a round table covered with graphic novels at the moment.

All the gross wallpaper is gone! Haste-La-Bye-Bye!! You may not be able to see it from here but it seemed almost 5 mm thick and was textured. It was pealing off in most places and gross! I have my Mucha reproduction and my devilish boozer art there. The wooden box is filled with my grandmother's silver...retro 50s stuff with six pointed nuclear-y bursts etched into the handles. I love them. Thanks Mom!
the Livingroom...

My mom has been calling this room "table city". We don't really have seating in here...nothing but that chair currently being used to hold some of my husband's weapons. The color is a gray green...and again, ALL THE FREAKIN WALLPAPER IS GONE! The same kinda stuff was in here, textured and thick. Also, this room, the stairs upwards, and the hall were carpeted. This beautiful wood was beneath that. We had this done right away.
Finally, my favorite room, the Family Room.
I love the color we painted the's "Pumpkin Pie". The sunroom is just beyond. The rug is still here, but there's no hard wood here so we'll wait until we can aford to do a planned remodel of the back of the house.

Smudge seems to be warming up to the place just fine. He had a cold when we moved in, but now he seems okay. There's his condo, and the cardboard structure on the left is a maze.

He started exploring immediately. This was his first night. He has not gone beyond this room yet.

In other news, work sux! It's gotten to the point where some days I actually hate my job. I love my kids... my supervisor was asking me if I like math. Shamefully, I am a write who's grown to love teaching math:) That's not it. i just have so many problems with the execution of my job for many reasons, the severe student apathy and poor work ethic (lord knows I don't expect the theory of relativity, but they just don't work, and I put bells and whistles on everything! How can such creative, fun people be so turned off when I toil to make the learning fun?). I also feel like my school community is going through a transitional period, like those first akward teenage years when your face is so greasy it has reflective qualities.
I am knitting quite a few things. I'm still working on that tomten.

Yarn Diva had buttons like the one's I used on Mrs. B's Sophia Baby Surprise in just the perfect color for this tomten (for a different Sophia:)

I had to take a tomten break to make this Baby Surprise for Henry L.

For whatever reason, who knows, i just wasn't as happy with this one.

Love the buttons. Same as Griff's.

Some of The ChalkDust Knitters are making this Debbie Bliss shawl scarf. Here's a very blurry picture of my still tiny on. My mom's is already so long!

Last, but not least...Here's the Shmed...

About Me

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Zel, The Grimm Witch
A woman on a number of missions...
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as zelphine, my favorite alias:)

My Favorite FOs

Baby Poncho from
Knit Baby Blankets
Berroco's Vintage

Ribbed Lace Bolero from
10 feet high
in Cotton Ease

Short & Sweet from
The Happy Hooker
in Caron Simply Soft

Wicked Bunny Baby Sweater

Griffin's Cotton
EZ Baby Surprise

Emma's Cotton Tot's
Debbie Bliss Baby Bolero

Griffin's Cotton Tots
Ripple Blanket

Sophia B.'s
EZ Baby Surprise

Yarn Harlot Sox
in Rio de la Plata
for Geek of All Trades

Grumperina Jaywalkers
in Regia
for Lupie

EZ Tomten
in Jarbo Garn

Noro Silk Garden
Top Down Crop Sweater

Green Woman Sweater
out of
Berroco Ultra Alpaca



Background by Jennifer Furlotte / Pixels and IceCream