Sunday, April 27, 2008
- Luv Gun. I finished all the pieces except the hearts. Now I need to "lightly felt" (aka "full") them in the washer or something before sewing the gun parts together. I guess I dont really have to felt them... maybe I'll try stitching the gun together and see if it looks crappy. The edges of the gun pieces look kind of sloppy to me, so I am wondering maybe if sewing it together will help neaten that up? All I have left after this is to knit the three red hearts, sew them together, and stuff everything with roving, and C'est Fini! :)
- Chenille blanket. Still slogging along. I think I am on skein three or four? I am going to stop this panel after this skein and start a new panel. This is definitely not a portable project!
- 2 at a time Magic Loop socks. The ribbing is probably almost 2" long? Slow Going. :)
- Ms Marigold vest. Ugh - miles of stockinette lay ahead of me. What more can I say? :) I know it will be worth it in the end, but it's ... slow. And I was sad that I finished all the Gun knitting I could at Daniel's on Friday and didn't bring anything else! (I wish I had brought the red yarn!)
- 2nd Bartholomew's Tantalizing Sock. This is waiting. For what, I don't know. :)
But does that stop me from wanting to cast on new stuff? Heck no!
Stuff I want to CO for:
For Leslie's future baby, I want to make---
- Baby Surprise Jacket with Socks That Rock midweight... I think. Or lightweight. However... I need to buy the pattern. I am going to check and see if I can just buy the BSJ pattern from Schoolhouse Press, or if I need to buy an entire EZ book (which would just suck....hahaha :) I love EZ, who am I kidding?!)
- Tulip Toes booties.
For John & Olivia's wedding, I wanted to make a blanket. But I don't know if that is going to happen in time for their wedding. I have till the first anniversary, right? :) haha...
I want to finish Kris' matching Brunhilde hat to go with Randy's Viking hat.
I've got some more yarn for socks for Daniel (Hazel Knits sock yarn in Weekend Warrior).
A Clapotis for my mom, probably, in STR something-or-other.
Maybe some scarves for my brother, sister, and BIL and SIL.
For me? I want to make my two STR club patterns, as well as those cashmere house socks from my Zen Yarn Garden club. I want to make the Knit Centerpiece blanket from Lion (for me and John & Olivia). I think Babette would be a cool blanket, too - it's made in Koigu (according to the pattern), but I would probably pick a bunch of Knitpicks Wool of the Andes or Cascade 220 in a neat color palette.
Then, of course, I have this hand-dyed mohair that I had used to make my mom a Cat Bordhi moebius scarf a couple of years ago...she gave me back the scarf and asked me to re-use it and maybe make her a hat or something she could line so it wouldn't itch against her skin. :) I think the colors are perfect for her, though - "salmom" (yes...as in "salmon + mom". My sister and I made that word up, because my mom tends to have a penchant for articles of salmon-colored clothing) and a canteloupe-ey orange. My online friend Jenny (aka Jeanine Bakridges, of Spin-Off fame) said that if it was kid mohair, it shouldn't itch. I think...it's not kid mohair ;-)
Oh, and the Dog's Paw Shawl (which Jenny helped design!)....that shall have to wait for my Economic Stimulus Package rebate check...
OK. I'm going to stop writing about knitting and GO KNIT :) What a concept!
As my grandpa says...Tough Tittie. It's my blog, and if I want to write about aliens or beer or rancid-old-man smell, that's my prerogative.
Dawn got me into bento boxes. If you've never heard of a bento box, it's basically a Japanese lunchbox that is sectioned off. I bought this one off of Jlist, a Japanese items import company. It's cute - I'll take pictures of it once it gets here.
The reason I wanted to try a bento box was that I often use a lot of little plastic bags, etc. when I pack my lunches for work, and this may be a nice way to stop using so many bags. Also, the insulative lining in my lunchbox that I bought a couple of years ago at a NEX in Maryland is starting to tear.
Most of the Japanese diet, as far as I can tell from bento blogs I've explored, is based on rice. Then they use vegetables, fruit, and a protein of some sort to complete the box. A lot of bentos rely on cute presentation - lots of people use miniature cookie cutters to shape vegetables, fruit, and other foods into shapes, or they even use the cookie cutter itself as a divider / container for stuff (e.g. filling a star-shaped cookie cutter with edamame, etc.). Since I am pretty sure that eating rice-based meals every day would puff me up to slaughtering weight in no time, I think I'll continue my habit of basing my lunches on vegetables or soup, with a chunk of meat or cheese in there somewhere. A lot of people use hard boiled eggs as a protein source, too, which sounds tasty - hard boiled eggs are something I don't think about very often, but I do enjoy them. I am thinking of making my mayonnaise-less egg salad tonight after pilates. Basic Recipe Below:
Mayonnaise-Less Egg Salad
- Hard boiled eggs
- Jicama (I guess...if you want)
- Salt & pepper
I chop the eggs up, then chop up the vegetables and olives into tiny cubes, and mix everything together. Sometimes I use ranch dressing as well, but this seems to work overall for me. It's chunkier than most peoples' idea of egg salad, which seems to just involve eggs, mayo, and maybe some black olives. (?) Since I've harbored a lifelong abhorration of mayo, I just don't use it.
Back to bento. A lot of bento sites I've seen also offer little "sauce bottles", basically miniature bottles that you can fill with soy sauce or mayo or whatever you want. I think they are adorable, though I Don't know how well they will stand up. There are also little containers for salt, pepper, or other condiments.
Now, yes, I suppose I could have solved my plastic bag problem by buying some small Tupperware-style containers and making sure they all fit like puzzle-pieces into my lunchbox. I may still do that. I just want to explore the bento box thing some. :)
Saturday, April 26, 2008
The city of Davis is an interesting place. I can remember whining that there was "never anything to do there". Now that I've grown up a bit (and am of legal drinking age), I realize how wrong I was. It holds a lot of the same charm that Seattle does (even the same sorts of winters, though in Davis they go away more quickly, it seems). Local coffee shops? Check. Good breakfast nooks? Check. Amazing Farmer's Market? Big Check.
My senior year of college, I convinced my parents to let me live by myself. It actually helped the studying and practicing a lot. What I wouldn't give for that apartment now. It was a one bedroom place on 4th and J Streets, about 9-10 blocks from school. I was on the second floor. There was a giant juniper tree that shaded my place during most of summer. I had my own balcony. It was almost 700 sqft of space! (Though it didn't feel like it. I had not learned to "lean out" my possessions yet, so it was crammed with stuff. And I also had a penchant for covering the walls with interesting images from magazines.)
My favorite times were Saturday mornings. Since I was single, I never had anyone else to worry about. One thing I loved to do was roll out of bed, hit the Farmer's Market, and then maybe go to Delta of Venus (which everyone called "Delta Venus") for their delicious hippie breakfasts. It's a vegetarian place, so they had these wonderful scrambled eggs, pancakes or waffles, and I LOVED their herbal tea. It was freakin' amazing, and had hints of smelling like a lot of the crop fields in Davis. (I just sent them an email asking either to buy some herbs, or get the recipe...we'll see what happens). I also liked playing at DoV, because it was always with friends.
I loved going to Soga's for their strawberry lemon drops. They mashed strawberries and would steep them in their vodka to make their own, and they made their own lemon syrup. It was a nicer place where I would go with one or two friends. "Older" people went there (I mean older like late 20's ;) ). I remember playing there, too - there was a tiny raised stage in the middle of the restaurant. They stopped letting musicians play, though - the owner thought it was detrimental to business.
I loved not needing a car in Davis. Between the bus system (which I worked for, for awhile - as a bus driver) and your bike, there was really no place you couldn't get to in Davis. Now that I cycle a lot more, I remember how ridiculous it was that people thought that things a mile away were "too far". When downtown is measured in blocks, and most people live within a few minutes' ride of school...I guess everyone gets lazy. After I graduated, I started going on evening rides. I can't imagine how slow I was going, because I think it took me something like an hour to go 7 miles. :) OK, I tracked it, it was more like 6 mi, here is the route.
One of my favorite (!!!) things about Davis? The Co-Op. In case you've never been to one, it's basically a hippie food store. But in the best way. They are all about sustainability, organic foods, local foods, bulk foods (which take less packaging), and they were urging people to reduce, reuse, recycle before it became hip. Since I lived about three blocks from it, I would bike or walk over every day or two and find food for the next couple of days. It was awesome. They had the best selection of cheese in town, as well as fresh breads, produce, tea, and my naughty favorite: an amazing homemade carrot cake. I was a member for years - if you go in and you're not a member, you pay a 5% surcharge over shelf price. Members pay shelf price. If you volunteer something like a few hours a month, you get a small discount. If you became a "superworker" (something like 16 hr / mo volunteer work), you would get somewhere around a 16% discount. In retrospect, I should have gone with that option, but ...eh. It always smelled good in there, and was an inviting place to roam around in for hours... One of the dreadlocked guys who worked there got to know me by sight, and would always come say hi when I was in there. My friend Kim located me inside the Co-Op once because she heard me laughing and just followed the sound. :)
Other favorite food places? This salad place that was on 4th - I dont think it's there anymore, but it was amazing. Fuzio's. The Mustard Seed. Dos Coyotes (in the Marketplace by the pig statue - the S. Davis one isn't as good). Pluto's. Murder Burger (sorry...REDRUM Burger.) The Guad (aka Taqueria Guadalajara). London Fish N Chips. Zia's deli had my favoritest Italian sandwich. Sudwerk's microbrews. Little Prague, where I Had my first Pilsner Urquell. Woodstock's pizza, of course...
And, if we really got bored, Sacramento was very close by,as was San Francisco and the rest of the bay area. Napa Valley wasn't far away, either, nor the mountains. I had my first camping experience with Davis friends, too (one of whom I am going to see married in July...holy crap, I need to buy tickets!)
Anyway, I think the main things I miss about Davis were: accessibility, nice pace of life, the Co-Op (because Seattle has "co-ops", but they are really pricey and nowhere near as awesome as the Davis one), and the overall friendliness of people. Seattle has some of that, but...it's just different.
Although, don't get me wrong - I do love Seattle! :)
Thursday, April 24, 2008
MAN! It was great.
Although, first, I will air grievances. I remembered why I don't particularly enjoy most large concerts:
- The speakers are way too loud. I really should have brought earplugs. This coming from someone who sits in big bands with riotous trombones right behind her and no problems (usually). (Truth be told, most "real" musicians I know wear earplugs when playing.)
- People scream far too much. I am glad they are glad to see the artist / performer, but ...really. There is always a "screamer" right behind you (sort of like getting the plane seat in front of the puking baby or kid kicking the back of your seat from Honolulu to Paris...).
- People insist on singing along to the music. If you sing along under your breath, I could care less. In fact, I bob around and mouth the words to songs. It's when the crowd's bad karaoke drowns out the singer on stage that I get annoyed. I did not pay $50 to hear your tone-deaf ass sing "Not A Pretty Girl". Leave it at home. Let Ani sing. (On second thought, maybe that's why the speakers are so loud).
- People smell bad. Behind us was a girl who smelled like she had smuggled in 10 of those cheap fake-vanilla scented candles under her coat. Blah! The gay guy sitting next to me offered me his handkerchief when I had a few sneezes going. :)
Now, lest you think I'm a negative nancy, here is what I enjoy about concerts:
- viewing the demographic of the concertgoers beforehand. Ani is, of course, very popular with the LGBT crowd, as well as feminists. I also saw a disproportionate amount of overweight women in attendance. Lots of dyed hair, college aged kids. Some teenage girls there with their moms, then there were the scattering of people who looked like they'd come from somewhat more urban workplaces (Liz, me, some couples strewn around).
- The opening act. It's often interesting. This one was a chick named Animal Prufrock and a feminist poet, whose name I can't remember (sorry!). I was disengaged until Animal did a song called "The Best Cock on the Block", followed shortly thereafter by "Walk There, Taxi Back", which was hilarious and is still stuck in my head. She sort of reminds me of a female Beastie Boy, but with automated drumbeats.
- Getting to see the artist live. I forgot how good of a guitar player Ani DiFranco really is. It was nice to watch.
- An unexpected bonus. I don't know why they had one, but there was an ASL (American Sign Language) translator there for the whole performance. It was impressive as hell. One woman did the opening act, and one did Ani's set. They were seriously moving through the whole set! I really respect those women - they not only have to simultaneously translate what the person is saying, but they tended to be rhythmic and look great while they were doing it. It was a cool little side show! :)
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
I Love You, Paper. I love getting things in the mail, ripping them open, realizing they consist of one paper's worth of information and the rest is trash. I love the righteous feeling that comes from heaving a paper grocery bag's worth of paper into the recycling bin. I love printing stuff out; it feels so illicit. I love taking paper lists to the store with me. Writing notes on paper. The list (ha) goes on.
However...I realize I need to eliminate the waste.
Little things I have done?
- I signed up to have my mortgage paid electronically on the 5th of every month. This means I don't waste a check, envelope, and 41 cents extra in postage to pay my mortgage. I also signed up to have my HOA dues paid electronically on the 5th as well.
- I just signed up to have my last three credit card statements "go paperless". If you are a Citi card holder, they will plant a tree on your behalf when you do this, which is kind of neat! (My most recent credit card, a Chase Visa which has a pretty nice rewards / rebate structure, was automatically paperless).
- I tried to have my electricity bill sent electronically, but for some reason, the City of Seattle's electricity company can't get with the times, even though they encourage you to sign up for a premium electricity rate that ensures the power you use (or, rather, an equivalent amount) comes from renewable energy sources.
What benefits do these actions have for me?
- the company who is billing me gives me online access to years' worth of statements, which are, of course, printable if need be. I can access my bills online at any time, and as soon as the statement appears, I can view it instead of waiting for it to arrive in the mail.
- The bills can't get lost in the mail. Unless the Interwebs gets messed up somehow.
- I save valuable space in my condo - no need for additional accordion boxes to hold PAPER BILLS...
- The billing company saves on operating costs (no printing and mailing of these bills), theoretically saving me money as well (*wipes tears of laughter from eyes*)
- And, probably, the most important benefit: The billing company no longer is using paper to print and mail out statements. I can't even imagine how much paper these places go through...some of my statements are so full of ads and extraneous papers that they look like a thick magazine stuffed in an envelope!
Do I have future plans? Absolutely. I would love to be a 100% Paperless Bill Payer! :)
And now...off to send my sister in law her (PAPER) birthday card. Because some things just can't compare to a paper card telling someone you love them and are thinking about them. :) (even if it's going to be a week late by the time it gets there).
Monday, April 21, 2008
Here it is, on my friend Randy (the intended recipient):
I think Kris and Randy are the only adults I know who "just happen to have" both a plastic battle axe in the closet, and a large Mexican sombrero in the back of the car...ya know, just in case!
Here is Randy, with axe in hand, and having just conquered the Chinese armoire:
I entered a LUSH contest called "The Green Faces of LUSH" a month or so ago, and I just got notified via email that I am in Round 2!
Please help me win! You can vote once a day (per computer. It will recognize the IP address of the machine if you just switch to a different internet browser.)
Let me explain: The winner gets a cash prize to donate to their charity of choice (as well as some well-made bath products from LUSH). I couldn't figure out which one I wanted to donate to, so of course I look lame and there is no charity listed on my entry. But I will donate (if I win) my prize money to Heifer International. I really like that they give animals to people in developing countries so that they can become self-sustaining and use that livestock to get their livelihoods going!!
Saturday, April 19, 2008
I found my dress on sale for $50 at the Frock Shop in Seattle. As she did last year, my friend Kris provided reliable insight and opinion on the dress selection. I returned later to the FS for some pewter peep-toe slingback heels that were too awesome to ignore (I did wait a month, though!). I got to wear my grandma's vintage emerald costume jewelry set, too, which I have been looking for an excuse to wear pretty much all my life. I wore the necklace and the bracelet. I left the earrings and ring for another day. :)
If you want to see all the pictures I took, click here. If you want to see all the pictures Daniel took, click here.
As I have told many people, there are very few men for whom a military dress uniform cannot improve their looks....even the geeky guys look hot at these functions!
Here's one pic someone took of us. Is that an actual bicep muscle I see on my arm??
This is Andy and his fiance, Gwen. I met Andy last year at the dance, and he had come stag. This year, I whispered to this lady, Sam, "Oh how nice, he has a date this year!"....later on, he introduced Gwen as his fiance, and I mouthed theatrically to Sam, "FIANCE?!"... Anyway. Gwen is super-nice, and reminds me a lot of Tori! :)
This is the Captain's wife. She's super sweet, and I love talking to her, even though I can never remember her freakin' name. I'm sure it's something easy to remember, too...argh! I'm a tad bummed. Daniel's captain got reassigned to a tour in DC, so they are going out there very soon. He and his wife are really nice people, and I enjoy getting to say hi to them whenever Daniel takes me to a Navy function.
The weather this weekend has been exceptionally weird. Most of this past week has just been overcast and somewhat cool.
Friday it was raining most of the day, and in the evening, it hailed in Bremerton while Daniel and I were at Fred Meyer. Apparently it snowed here in Seattle Friday night, because when I was driving around this morning, I kept noticing small build-ups of snow on the backs of people's cars.
My pilates teacher told me she saw a picture of a tulip with snow on it..presumably taken around Seattle.
I am hoping the Tulip Festival isn't quashed tomorrow. I am really hoping that Daniel can get on the 9 AM ferry, so we can get up to Mt. Vernon relatively early, but I will have to speak to Kris if we can't. I also am debating whether to go to pilates tomorrow or not. I am indifferent either way, but it would be nice to spend most of the day with Daniel...
However, I finally sat down and made the two horns to go on my Viking hat. Hopefully I will see the recipient soon. :)
I need to start it's mate, though.
- red vest
- chenille blanket
- 2 socks at a time, Magic Loop method
- Luv Gun
I need to start the second Bart's sock. :)
I got a new bike helmet yesterday! It's a Bell Sweep XC. Here's the best part: I got it for $60, tax included! (It retails for at least twice that). I found it when Daniel and I went to this store called Stupid Prices, where their gimmick is that they include tax on the price tag. I also found some vegetable supplements called Greens To Go that are very difficult for me to find in most stores - it's pre-portioned vegetable and fruit powder that goes into water and tastes like apples. (By the way, you can get a free (!!) sample of all their flavors if you click here.) The best part was that my mom said that the Greens To Go packages that I bought were about $5 less than she has seen them at Costco ($23 vs about $28, not including tax).
I also discussed some financial questions with Daniel. I have about $1600 in an ING savings account, and he was suggesting that I have a separate IRA to complement my Boeing 401(k) account. I think I am going to open a Vanguard Roth IRA. Daniel did some quick research, and the expense ratio (I think that's what it's called - I am still pretty new at this investing thing) is around 0.15%, which is very low. The catch is that you need at least $3000 to open a Vanguard IRA account. So what I am going to do is tack on the difference from another savings account, and then I'll be able to open up the account, no problem. Were I not fortunate to have Daniel's advice, my first inclination would have been to close my ING account and transfer that money to another savings account, or my Sharebuilder account. My HSBC savings account is earning a higher interest rate than my ING account, so I really don't like letting my money sit around and not do it's best for me...
Seriously, if anyone has any questions about finances or investing, please visit Daniel's blog: www.step3prophet.com. I am sure he wouldn't mind answering any questions that come his way, either - they can be made anonymous and provide good fodder for his blog, anyway! :) (He also has a list of financial blogs that he likes, and the best part is that I can read them and not fall asleep!)
Sunday, April 6, 2008
First... a breath of springtime, fresh from Trader Joe's. :) Gerbera daisies and daffodils, on the cheap - nothing says "happy" to me like these flowers:
Daniel and I got to meet up with some music friends at Masala Indian restaurant on Friday night. L-R: Lonnie, Sura, Paul, Darlene, Ron, Daniel, me, Deb:
I think this is a fabulous picture of Daniel :)
The books I picked up for myself in Portland, at Powell's: two vegetarian cookbooks (Kripalu is a yoga / natural healing resort up in the mountains on the east coast - my mom went there for a shaman class, and she said that their food was amazing. So I bought the cookbook!):
And, finally - my new stashbusting project. This is the second incarnation of the chenille tape yarn, but knit this time. I'm using size 15 aluminum needles, and making a blanket in strips. I'm just doing a very simple pattern of knitting one row, and the next row is yo, k2tog. This chunk of knitting didn't take very long at all, and is about a foot long x 24" wide (maybe?). Impressive, simple, quick. Just what I need. :)
Finally... I am trying to establish a new "equilibrium" for me. I am back into the exercising, and I am going to try taking a kickboxing class Tuesday night. I wish kickboxing was available Thursday evening, since that is my less-favorite spinning instructor (even though he is a really sweet guy), and then I could stay with the great Tuesday night spinning instructor and take kickboxing, but, of course, you can't have everything. I am excited to try this, though. I am also trying to stop eating grains. It is HARD, but I figure I have the willpower to not buy yarn, lose 25 lb, exercise multiple times a week, and invest/ save $600/mo (which isn't that much, honestly), so why can't I do this?! :) I only have 15 more lb to go before I reach my goal weight. My sister in law stopped eating grains, and she is having to eat more (healthy) fats (e.g. nuts and avocados...MMm...) to keep her weight on! :)
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
- Illuminated Books. There are scans of a bunch of illuminated manuscripts and books. Sooo gorgeous!
- Project Gutenberg. There are loads of free older books available for download here.
Project Gutenberg even has knitting books, like this one, "Beeton's Book of Needlework".
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
- A Woolee Winder ($185 for the winder + 1 bobbin, each add'l bobbin $31, shipping $16. Total for Winder + 2 add'l bobbins + shipping = $263.00)
- I have a Majacraft Susie wheel
- A drum carder. Because of space requirements, I don't want a huge one. However, I do want something useful. I think either of the two below would fill the bill.
- Louet Roving carder ($385...$330 on sale at www.bountifulspinweave.com )
- Strauch Petite carder ($341, unassembled, also at www.bountifulspinweave.com (free s/h))
- I want a pretty drop spindle. Like this. Or this. Or this.
- A cast-iron skillet. 10" is probably my limit because bigger ones get exponentially heavier (ok, maybe not exponentially, but it definitely doesn't feel linear!! *har har*). They are not expensive but I need to learn how to season the thing. I think Lodge, Emeril, and at least a few other folks make 'em. I wonder how you cook off that wax coating that they come with?
- Camping equipment. Although this is sort of a moot point as long as we're friends with Tori and Igor. They really have more camping equipment than we'd ever need. If we ever want to go camping without them, I expect they would lend us whatever we want, and all I'd have to do is give them new fuel or something. But if I were going to start stocking up, I'd first get:
- a good tent with a rain thingie for on top
- a JetBoil
- some good sleeping mats (we already have sleeping bags)
- maybe some of those Origami bowls and stuff
I can't really think of anything else. It's always nice to get new sheets with a high thread count, and eventually I want a new couch, but at this point I'll wait till Daniel and I live together and we can pick something out together - his beige couches hurt my back if I slouch in them too long and mine is just getting old. Clothing and jewelry rank highly, but the season is changing soon (I hope), and I'll probably head to Ross and see what's up before hitting the big boys and boutiques...heck, if I can save some cash, that's great! :-) I always think I want to look like I came out of REI, but I end up with some New York & Co. in there, too...
Of course, if someone wants to suck those last 15 pounds out of my gut, they are welcome to it! :) *hehe*