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Archive for April, 2011

So this is a knitting blog, huh?

Ok, ok, so I haven’t said much about my knitting lately.  I have been knitting.  It’s just that about the time I resolved the scorpion episode, all sorts of other stuff jumped up and demanded to be put on the agenda.

Like Stitches South, where I bought yarn:

5 skeins of cashmere merino, provenance undetermined, from Newton’s Yarn Country.  Color:  Cream.  Dyelot:  you are kidding, aren’t you?  This booth was the yarn equivalent of the remaindered books sale tables at Borders. I could not walk by without buying something  and 5 skeins for $25,  who could pass that up?  Which is also why I own a random selection of coffee table books for my non-existent coffee table.

Herb gardening, really?  You don’t have a garden.

The pictures were  pretty and I could have a garden someday.  I could.

…and don’t get me started on that history of paper making book… 

Knitting Notions Classic Merino Bamboo.  The color is ruby.  I really like her yarns and they always knit up very nicely.

Miss Babs Yet.  Ravelry calls this heavy lace weight.  The color is Black Watch.  It appears much brighter here than in reality- it’s a very dark stormy night sort of color.

Lisa Souza Polworth Silk.  The color is Wild Things.

I was determined to shop outside my usual color palette this year.  I have way too much rust, brown, burgundy, and orange in my stash and while I wear those colors, I also wear  blue, green, rose, and dusty plum.  So now it’s time to knit up some items for that part of my wardrobe.  Seems like it might be the wild stormy side.

Do you even have one of those?

Well… I could… maybe…

Lisa Sousa Baby Alpaca Silk.  Color:  Blueberry Ice.

This is wonderfully soft and my favorite of all the things I bought.

I also bought a pattern for Aria Delicato by Anne Hanson.  Which I really wanted to begin right away- the thrill of the new pushing everything else out of the way.  So I frogged the  Adia which was giving me fits and started this with the Isager.  Which is coming along nicely.

I had solved the intial problem with the Adia by charting out the first few rows.  The problem wasn’t, as I had thought at first, the pattern but an error on my part.  However, I kept having the same issues over and over and finally realized that the only way I could ever knit this would be to completely chart it out.  It has a 20 row repeat and not all the wrong side rows are purls.  I am just too lazy or possibly too frustrated to chart out all 20 rows.  I may try it again some other time with a different yarn but not just now.

There was also the Scalini’s dinner Saturday night, organized by the Knit Witch.  As usual I ate too much, narrowly avoided drinking too much, and laughed so hard it’s a wonder I could keep it all down.

My granddaughter’s birthday was that week too.  First there was dinner on Tuesday night with her Mom’s family and then pottery painting and dinner at my house on Sunday.

Then this past weekend there was the opening of a new exhibit at the pottery gallery nearby which I attended with Jane, Diana, and Hali.  I had pretty much spent anything I had to spend at Stitches so I was able to resist all the lovely things but I am still fantasizing about what to do with my future lottery winnings.

Then Sunday was Famous Steve’s birthday and the Knaughty Knitters all gathered at Jane’s to celebrate.

This week I am in between jobs and trying to catch up.

Really?  Catching up is it?  Looks like napping to me. 

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I emailed Starbucks customer service about the scorpion in my coffee.  Their reply:

“Due to the nature of your inquiry, we are unable to provide an ideal response via email. Therefore, we would like the opportunity to provide/gather more information in order to best assist you.

Please call our customer relations department at 1-800-###-####. Upon calling, please reference email case #….”

So, I called and twiddled my thumbs while the soothing recorded voice asked me:

What would you like to do?

                                 Would you like to find a Starbucks location?  Press 1

                                 Would you like to purchase a Starbucks  card?  Press 2

                                 Would you like to reload a Starbucks card?  Press 3

                                 Would you like to learn about Starbucks rewards? Press 4

and a bunch of other choices which I can’t remember but which had nothing to do with finding scorpions in one’s coffee.

Finally, when the voice was sure I wasn’t calling to find out how to buy something Starbucks related it offered me customer service.

The first tier customer service person, after looking up my case number,  said:  “OMG, I can’t handle this.  I’ll have to put you through to someone in a different department.”

Good, I thought, this is too big for small fry.  Get me the big fish.

The next one looked up my case number and said,  “Wait, I need to get my supervisor’s attention for this.”  Pause. “They all seem to busy just now.  Do you have time to wait?”

Yes, thank you for asking.

Then we had a little conversation about scorpions.  He informed me he was in New Mexico, where they have lots of the critters.    He told me that it couldn’t survive long in a climate it hadn’t been born into, that it probably was from some exotic location with a climate completely different than Georgia’s, and that it would only live a day or two at the most.

I was reassured by this until I remembered that the bag of coffee had sat on my counter for several days before I opened it.  If it was going to die in a couple days, I should have found a dead scorpion in my coffee.  Which, frankly would have been just as creepy but less likely to keep me awake at night.

He then told me that a scorpion’s life expectancy is about 3 months.

I could have this thing hiding in my house for 3 months!!!

Then he continued to reassure me by stating that he wasn’t a expert on scorpions or  an entomologist or anything like that.  He got his information from watching Animal Planet.

He finally got his supervisor’s attention.  He told me they were going to trace the coffee back to it’s processing plant and probably recall the entire batch.

Yes!

As he was filling out all the forms to get the coffee traced and probably to get me put on a “do not take calls from her, she’s crazy” list,  he informed me that under the heading of  “foreign object found in coffee”, he was the first person ever to type in “scorpion”.

They are sending me a gift card for $25.

I’m Ok with that.

I haven’t seen the creature since the night I tried to swat it.  Even better.

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I keep my coffee in a ceramic jar.  I usually make one cup at time, because some mornings need an extra jolt and some don’t and why waste most of a pot if I’m not going to drink it.

So on Wednesday morning, I made my first cup and took it back to bed to sip it with my eyes shut while I  pretended  that I didn’t have to get up.

After bathing and dressing and the usual morning stuff, I felt I needed a second cup.  Since the canister was nearly empty, I opened a brand new, sealed up tight, bag of Starbucks Italian Roast and dumped it into the jar.  A scorpion crawled out over the lip of the jar and landed on the kitchen counter.  Yes, you read that correctly, a scorpion.  About an inch and a quarter long, translucent rust colored, with a spiky little tale waving at me.  It seemed a little disoriented  and who wouldn’t be after being sealed up in a bag of coffee and transported to a strange place.  I was a little disconcerted myself.  Actually, it took me a minute to realize what exactly I was staring at.

I looked around the room.  What was at hand to whack it with?  Plate?  breakable.  Glass, ditto.  Potholder?  too soft.  Knife?  Not really the right tool for the job.  I grabbed the roll of paper towels, turned around and it had gone.

Gone where????  They like dark crevasses.  Under the lip of the counter?  The drawer below it?  The toe space between the counter and the floor?  Under the burners on the stove?  Is it hiding, lurking, on the backside of the oven door? Am  I going to put my hand in the drawer and find it running up my arm?  Am I going to walk into the kitchen in my bare feet in the middle of the night when I can’t see because my contacts are out and…

I had fallen into my very own horror story.  When will it strike?  And how will I know?  There will be no warning.  My head was a litany of B movie trailers.

I emptied the drawer and the cupboard below it very carefully, lifting things out with tongs.  I moved all the cat stuff to another room.  I banged on doors and surfaces and poked knives into crevasses.  I took out the emergency spider spray, blocked off the kitchen, and sprayed the vicinity of the creature’s last known where abouts.

I told myself  it would probably creep into a crack and stay there.  I told myself I could get a second cup of coffee on the way to work.  I told myself I would email a complaint to Starbucks from work.  I reminded myself that I was in dress rehearsals this week and I had to get into the shop early.  I went to work.  I told myself it would not be there when I got home.

I arrived home, late, after a 3+ hour rehearsal, and all seemed normal.  The cats were a bit shaken to find their food bowls in the living room but food is food.  After eating Lilith disappeared back to her hiding place and Imp went to sit on the work table where she usually likes to look out the window.  Only tonight she was facing the wall, almost as if she had put herself into time out.

I was just beginning to feel like I really needed to go to bed when there was a crash from the vicinity of the work table.

I went to see what had happened.  Imp was leaping from the table to the TV cabinet to the sofa, oblivious to everything in her way, eyes glued to the ceiling, tail twitching.   I looked up.  There it was, the scorpion, scurrying  along the top of the wall.  I was faced again with the question as to what will be the most effective and handy object to use.  It needed reach.  The broom?  Too flexible and full of places to hide.  I grabbed the swifter from the closet.  I whacked it.  Clearly not hard enough.  I believe I heard it swear at me and then it dropped down behind the wall art over the sofa.  I pulled the sofa away from the wall.  I piled the cushions (after a good shake) on a chair.  I needed to get at the wall.  I bent to pull the sofa a bit further out.  There was a bit of fluff on one corner.  I pulled on the sofa and the bit of fluff had legs and was over the side before I realized it was my prey.  I banged the sofa up and down,  I hit the wall art with the handle of the swifter.  I swept under the sofa.  It did not reappear.

It is now 12:30 am.  My neighbor whose bed is on the other side of the wall probably wants to kill me.  I’m going to kill myself in the morning if I don’t go to bed as there is another dress rehearsal tomorrow night.   I left everything pulled out into the middle of the room and went to bed.  And I left the light on.

Imp is still waiting for it to come back out.  She has staked out a spot on the sofa and is staring intently over the edge.

Dear Starbucks Customer Service:

I don’t want to sue you.  I am not seeking monetary compensation for more than the cost of my bag of coffee.  What I really need, what will resolve the matter to my satisfaction, is for someone from Starbucks to get over here RIGHT NOW and get rid of this thing.

Sincerely,

Scared Sleepless

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