Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

I am staying home tonight. I was invited to a nice dinner party but decided I wanted to stay home and watch movies or something.

Do you make New Year’s Resolutions? I usually do, but keep them positive. I am all about self-improvement. I need to do some reflecting on what I want to work on this year. Maybe tonight while watching “Napoleon Dynamite.”

Here is a swatch of the Katia “Nepal” I bought yesterday. I love it! The receipt calls it Fuchsia and Pistachio which captures the colors perfectly.

Dating…or Craigslist Strikes Again
A couple of weeks ago I was bored and feeling like dating again so responded to a few ads on Craigslist, one of them being Angelo. His two sentence reply included a picture but little else. Then I went home for Christmas and it sort of lost momentum (read: I lost interest). Angelo didn’t tell me very much about himself so I didn’t really feel like meeting him after all. So I did the polite thing and told him that I wasn’t really interested in pursuing it any further, I am busy, blah blah blah.

This morning there was a message from him in my inbox. Should I open it or not? Could be a polite, thanks, have a nice life, or not.

It was the latter.

The gist of the message was that at my age I have to take what I can get, thanks for wasting my time. (I did everything in my power not to flame him. Something about stooping to his level. In the end, I am glad I didn’t respond to the weak ass.)

At my age?? No, Angelo, I will not be taking what I can get. I have a great life and I hope someone comes along that fits into it. If not, I will be fine.

With that attitude you will be getting what you can take. And she will take and take and take when she smells desperation.

I never learn my lesson. When I do the initial responding it NEVER works. I have an uncanny ability to pick the losers.

Velvet posts the pictures of her dating entourage. It sure is tempting… is kind of vanilla, but after the last few guys on Craigslist, make it two scoops with jimmies.

Friday, December 30, 2005

half-priced holiday candy


I am ready to totally frog the geometric scarf because it is driving me nuts. How worth it is another scarf? My problem is I can’t figure out the last part of the pattern. I started this project about 10 months ago and put it away because of my frustration.

I figured I had a lot more knitting experience under my belt now so I picked it up again. I think it’s the way the pattern is written. It’s like a word problem in 5th grade math.

I bought this very cool looking yarn at AC Moore today. It’s Katia “Nepal.”

I need to do some swatching but I think I am going to use if for this. I love the sleeves.

I have a date on New Year’s Day. Starting the year off right! I met Greg on match. He seems nice, we had a good phone conversation yesterday. I am not sure he is my type, but I am looking forward to sushi with him on Sunday in Old Town.

I am approaching dating in a new way in 2006. I tend to give everyone a chance, even the ones that probably don’t need one. I guess I want everyone to like me. But the is totally unrealistic and kind of ridiculous. Like my knitting, I am going to be honest with myself and realistic.

And I have slowly realized that I judge people based on superficial things a lot of the time. I say I don’t, but I really do. Not easy to admit. My biggest hang-up, in life, is doing things to please other people, even total strangers! But every day, since my early 20s when I first realized this, I remind myself amnd try to change it to a more positive character trait.

Henry is slowly creeping back and I am getting curious why. We have the same birthday so I got a message from him, and then another Merry Christmas email, and then today a message wishing me a Happy New Year. We met on match a couple of years ago but it sort of fizzled. I really liked him and it took me a loooong time to get over it. He is the one who taught me that people don’t change, a very import lesson. So I am apprehensive about him suddenly emailing me. We haven’t spoken in many months and he has a girlfriend. The last communication we had I gave it to him straight about his behavior (always canceling plans at the last minute, 3-4-5 times in a row) and I thought that would be the end of it completely. I guess not.

Chris, the guy I met the night the perv was trying to look up my skirt, has vanished. What gives? You can’t call, email, text that you don’t want to go out again? Is treating people like adults such a foreign concept?

About a week ago I get this cryptic text message from him (sent at 5:40AM) after a day of phone tag: Feeling overwhelmed.

It has taken a few days for me to realize that he wasn’t referring to work…

Craigslist-guys tend to be a little sketchy. I guess there is so little buy-in to participate in online dating that they feel like they don’t take it too seriously.

I called Charles to wish him a Merry Christmas but never heard back from him. I really miss him but he is all wrong. I can hear my friend Sophie telling me, “Why do you get involved with men who are unavailable to you?”

So screw you all, I am going to sit home with my half-priced mini Milky Ways and be happy!

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


I survived my trip home to Rhode Island for Christmas. My mother and I didn’t have our knock-down drag-out fight, either. Breakthrough?

All in all, the trip home was nice. I saw my friends Paige and Karen that I have known since childhood. Got my fill of cable TV. Saw my younger brother Ted and my nieces and nephew.

Do you watch this show “Laguna Beach” on MTV? It’s a trip. I am a child of “Beverly Hills 90210” (I also love the “O.C.”) so this show fits right in. I first saw “Laguna Beach” over the summer and was hooked. I didn’t realize that it was real people until much later. Hard to believe those high school kids are real. So I got all caught up this week. One question: what is up with Deiter’s eyebrows? It looks like he trying to emulate those freakish Gotti brothers.

Speaking of “real,” I tried to watch “Sweet 16,” but was so sickened by the whole thing I couldn’t watch for more than 5 minutes. I can watch fake rich people spending their money on ridiculous things but not real ones.

My father’s scarf was a hit, but I totally forgot to take a picture! This is my best shot, him modelling. It was down to the wire to finish. I used my time in the airport exclusively to knitting. That evening and following morning I wove in the ends, and there were about a million of them. Then I washed and blocked it and it took freaking forever to dry. I ended up putting in the dryer for a few minutes at a time on Christmas morning. Yikes.

My mother liked her socks, too. At first she didn’t make the connection that I made them.

I have had a nice break from knitting so I am ready to take stock this week of what is still lingering and think about some new projects. I would really like to finish any loose ends before starting anything new. I am on vacation the rest of the week, yay.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Merry Christmas everyone

I don’t know whether to be flattered or offended. I was excerpted on this (stinking) Yankee blog:

I have one word for the Yankees. Karma.

It dawned on me today that I leave tomorrow to my parents for Christmas and I haven’t finished knitting my father’s scarf, never mind weaving in the ends and washing and blocking it! What planet have I been on?

On an unrelated note, Grumperina asked:

A year ago I would have added that a large number of
my friends don’t even know I knit, but it’s too late for that – I think everyone
knows by now. How about you? Who knows about your knitting and your knitting
blog, and what are your reasons for revealing (or not) its existence to
these folks? Don’t just leave me a comment – rather consider this a meme and
answer on your own blog ;).

People are slowly learning that I knit. I don't keep it a secret, it just doesn't come up in conversation. Nobody knows about my blog. I write about non-knitting things that I don't want some people reading. If my content was all-knitting-all-the-time it wouldn't be an issue It’s kind of funny. I share things with perfect strangers that I won’t share w/the people I know. I guess that sums up my personality.

I am off to the computer-free zone so Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Happy Holidays.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

enough with the food

I can’t fight it any longer. It has been week after week of parties, cakes, pies, cookies, popcorn, candy, English muffins and crumpets, chocolates. My body only wants crap so crap it will get.

Dinner. (Great news Washingtonians, World Market opened in Friendship Heights! I love that place, especially the food.)
I know that I will get back on the wagon after the New Year. My body can only take so much bad food and then I crave broccoli and salad.

I am also licking my wounds. Johnny Damon has gone to the dark side. This is very hard to accept. For a mere $3 million more a year than the Red Sox were offering. So I don’t think it was money. I feel cheated on. He is already calling that team “we.”

Sniffle. I am sure going to miss the beard and Jesus-hair. Steinbrenner doesn't allow any freedom of expression. Snip snip.

But we will get ours. I can't wait for the booos to rain down on Johnny when he plays the Red Sox at Fenway Park this year. Roger Clemens is breathing a sign of relief.

Other Entertainment
Have you ever perused the Rants & Raves section of Craigslist? I do it a few times a year and get my fill but it is very entertaining. Especially on a slow day at work.


Here’s the progress on Dad’s scarf. I really like how the stripes are coming together. This yarn feels really warm, too.

I just hope the black doesn’t scare him.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Social Graces

Looky what I got today:

My socks from the Holiday Knits Sox Exchange. Thanks Anastacia! I love them. (Do you have a blog?) The color is great (she hand-dyed them with Easter egg coloring). How fun. She also stuffed the toes with blueberry tea and hot chocolate.

I needed the boost after a ridiculous day w/my troll colleagues. I don’t give my mother enough credit for teaching me social graces. Thank you Mom!

We had our department lunch today at Corduroy. We also revealed our Secret Santa so it’s fun outing and we get gifts.

Our boss had to leave sort of quickly because she had a meeting she had forgotten about so she paid the bill before departing. After she left I mentioned what had transpired and they all played dumb. How could you miss Norma asking for the bill, whipping out her credit card, and paying? I suggested that we not just assume that Norma would foot the bill and that we should pay for our part and offer her the money when we got back to the office. Everyone practically got their calculators out to figure what they owed. It reminded me of my college days when money was particularly tight and we did in fact pull out the calculator and run down the bill to see what you got? That’s what it felt like. What the f*ck? Pay up!

Picture me squirming, doing everything in my power not to read the these cheap sons of b*tches all the riot act. It so pissed me off.

When it was all said and done we had collected $100 for a $240 bill. With $40 of that being mine, that means that 4 people left $15. For a first course, lunch, soft-drinks, dessert, and coffee. That left Norma’s share and one other person who was still holding onto the hope that Norma would pay, like she has done in the past, at $140 for 2 people. Do the math girls.

I was so furious and disappointed. Over the past many years now, my friends and I just split the bill by how many people are there. It all evens out, it makes life easier, and doesn’t leave that awkward moment when everyone has to chip in a few dollars more because some cheap ass didn’t pay their fair share.

We all had a say in what restaurant we went to. We all knew the price range and we all agreed. If money is so tight, why didn’t we go to a less expensive place?

In the end, Norma paid, thank you Norma. But the whole incident left a very bad taste in my mouth.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Happy birthday to me

The b'day weekend

My birthday came and went with little fanfare. Some years I do it big, others I keep it low key. Because it's so close to Christmas it takes a little extra planning. I wasn't feeling this year.

Corey and I went to the holiday market in downtown DC. It was featured in the Post last week so I was really psyched. But it was kind of a dud. Most of the booths were empty, although many of the artists and vendors there were really good. There was some interesting glass jewelry, and some knitters.

There was a guy selling felted bags so I explained to Corey how felting was done. The guy, a**hole that he was, was with a customer but piped up that his felt wasn't made in a washing machine, it was made inTibet. Whatever! So it was made in a sink with hot water and a box grater. (I don't have access to a washing machine to felt, either, buddy.) He must use that line with yuppies so you can charge them hundreds of $$$.

There were some kids from Joy of Motion performing which was cute. But all in all, I was disappointed.

We ate pizza a Matchbox because I have been wanting to go there since it opened. Nice atmosphere, the pizza was good, the people watching even better. They played good music, too, nothing like the cheesy stuff on the web site.

And then we went to see "Walk the Line" which I really liked. Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon have great chemistry which is so important for a love story. So often the actors don't zing and the story is totally unbelievable.

Holiday Partying
We had out office holiday party Friday at Maggianos. It was a fun time, it always is. This year there was karaoke so my department sang (if you can call it that) "Santa Baby." We had fun with it, props, hip-shaking, the whole bit. We won our category! But I am not quitting my day job.

After a few drinks and a belly-full of Italian food, some people really let their hair down. It was hysterical.

Oh yeah, knitting
Here's the progress on my father's scarf. I am going with an 8x4 rib to keep it flat. This shouldn't take too long. I am psyched to see how the stripes come out. I used the Random Stripe Generator. It is so much fun to play with!

Monday, December 12, 2005

ready to move on


I am looking forward to working on my old projects once Christmas knitting is done. That little list in the right column is very handy.

Sorbet has been languishing so I am going to frog it and make a ballet wrap style sweater. Sorbet is gorgeous and very sexy, but how often will I wear it? The geometric scarf needs to be dealt with, too. When I put it down almost a year ago I was confused about the pattern, but I think I have been away from it long enough, and have some more knitting experience under my belt, that I will be able to finish it quickly.

The winter Knitty is up. There are always really creative and interesting projects, but many of them are things I wouldn't wear. But this season, there are a couple of things that are intriguing me.

Too many scarves maybe?

I bought this lovely yarn on sale many months ago but haven't found the right project for it. I am kind of afraid to use it because I have such high expectations. You know what I mean? I am thinking cardigan. I love this color green so I want to make something I can/will wear a lot. Cardigans are my favorite kind of sweater because you can unbutton to cool off or button-up to keep warm. And in my old age I don't like the pullovers so much.

I haven't updated you all on the dating scene. After coming on very strong, Chris is practically invisible. What gives? We are playing phone tag at the moment and I admit I am playing it cool. I don't want seem over eager. But I don't want him to think I am not interested. I left him a message on Sunday, returning his call, and haven't heard anything 2 days later. I would like to go out with him again. Hmmm. To call him or not to call him.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


I don't know if Lolly cares anymore, but I finished my Socktoberfest socks. Here they are.

A Christmas gift for my mother. This yarn softened up considerably after I washed them.

My sock buddy, Deirdre (at Knitter from Keene), will probably have her socks very soon, so I think it's safe to advertise that I finished the Holiday Knits Sox Exchange. This yarn is really nice (Knit Picks "Sock Landscape") to knit. It is merino wool, and super soft, I thought it was cotton. And the colors are beautiful. This is a color scheme I wouldn't have picked for myself so I am glad Deirdre mentioned her favorite colors. My only worry is that they won't fit her. I am still figuring out sizing in sock-knitting.

My father's scarf is all that remains for Christmas knitting. I made the mistake of using stockinette for his scarf so it is curling. I have to rip it out and either rib it or use a border to keep it flat. I really like the look of garter stitch (it will lie flat) but I think it's too girly for my dad.

Dad's Scarf


I started my father's scarf after actually doing some calculations for the width and length. This is new territory for me. Knitable (downloaded on my PDA) has this conversion feature that will calculate how much yarn will be needed for your project once you enter the gauge, number of rows per inch, the finished size, and needle size. I just hope I have enough of the cranberry yarn.

I also used the Random Stripe Generator, a very cool tool for making interesting stripes.

This yarn, Panache from Knit Picks, is soft and will knit quickly. It feels really warm which will be good because my father lives in Rhode Island where they just got a foot of snow. That's a lot even for them! So glad I don't live there anymore.

I know he will like it. I just hope he wears it. He is very easy to gift because he is so grateful for presents. Sometimes at Christmas he wants to wait to open some of his gifts on the 26th. My mother won't let him, though.

The B'day

I went for a massage at Cleveland Park Day Spa on Saturday. I treated myself to start celebrating my impending birthday. It was great, deep tissue, and boy did she go deep. I am sore today in my shoulders but it feels great. I hope to go for massage quarterly in 2006. It is so good for you, even if it's just a relaxation massage. I need to see it as a wellness activity, not a splurge.

Vegas Baby
Remember the drama surrounding the trip I hope to make to Las Vegas in January? Well my friend who I hope to travel with called me on Friday, but did not leave a message. What's up with that?

The last we communicated was email at least 2 weeks ago. So I guess I need to call him and at least clear the air. I went for a beer with my colleague who is planning the trip and he was getting me all excited about it again.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Toe Graft

Look at all these socks in need of toes.

The first toe was holey, had to re-do. But now that I have done 4 toes in a row I feel like a master! Thank goodness for Knitting at KNoon - Knitting Videos to help me with kitchener stitch. Thank you Chris!

Now I have finished 2 pairs of socks, except for weaving ends and washing. What a great feeling.

Next stop, Dad’s scarf.

Holiday Angst
I had lunch with one of my print vendors today. We were talking about holiday stress and I mentioned my total lack of enthusiasm to decorate. He confessed that he dragged the Christmas decs from the attic 2 weeks ago and they are still sitting there. I laughed but felt better that it’s not just me. I wonder if it is because we start seeing Christmas decorations in late October and by now we are, possibly subconsciously, sick of them.

Even my brother and his family weren’t all excited to decorate the tree. It was the highlight of December when I was a kid. We had this awful, artificial tree for years, that would get dragged up from the basement. The tangled lights were inevitable start a fight, but it looked so restive and happy when we were done. But I really think I am going to leave the decorations where they are. Maybe a couple of poinsettias. They are always so pretty and scream Christmas.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Charlie Brown is on tonight


DC Blogs featured my run-in at Books-a-Million. How cool is that? Sure made me laugh. While I was there I found info about DC's First Outdoor Holiday Festival featuring artists and a tree sale. So Corey and I are going on my birthday.

What is not making me laugh and celebrate is condo-ownership. This is when I need a husband to help with these matters. For the past couple of days I have had a strong chemical smell, like charcoal lighter fluid, in the kitchen/livingroom region of my 600-square-feet of home. Very annoying, very distressing because is seemed to be coming from the gas oven. But it definitely was not gas. I opened the windows and hoped it would pass thinking someone was doing work in their unit. But for 2 days it wasn’t passing.

I will spare you all the long, ridiculous story. I think I have solved the problem (carbon build up in my stove top and oven) but you see why I need a husband. Who is going to help me figure out what to do in these situations? I am tired of doing everything all by myself. It’s draining.

On top of all this, the pilot light in the oven is out and I can’t relight it. I hope the oven isn’t kaput. I don’t want to spend $800+ on a new oven if I don’t have to. My current oven, while terribly un-yuppy, was working perfectly.

So I haven’t been knitting much over the past couple of days.

The bright side of this is the Charlie Brown’s Christmas is on tonight. Take the quiz here!

Let it Snow
It’s snowed in DC last night. It looks so pretty. Very Christmassy. But not enough for a snow day. Boooo! The panic that any amount of snow brings to the DC metro area cracks me up. I grew up in Rhode Island where it snows a lot, so it’s not really a big deal there until it gets up to 6+ inches. But DC, Maryland, and Virginia just don’t know what to do with anything more than a couple of inches.

Chris and I went out again Sunday night and had a really nice time. We went down to the harbor in Georgetown to see the decorated boats. It was fun, I have always wanted to go. It was hard to take pictures but I thought I would share one anyway.

And then we ate at Bangkok Joe’s. Great food (if you like Thai), warm ambience, I highly recommend.

The awkwardness of last Wednesday was gone thankfully. He even said something about it, so I know I am not making things up in my head. He is very easy to talk to, tall, good looking, cultured, has table manners. A good guy all around.

Friday, December 02, 2005

It's winter

My mother’s socks are done! Except for the toes which I will do when I finish the Holiday Knit

Sock Exchange. Toes are kind of a pain so I will do all 4 at the same time.

I did some shopping at the Loft this evening and one of the women who works there was oooing and ahhhing over my hydrangea scarf, saying that is looked so warm as she tried it on. She’s right, it’s great. And no wool, not scratchy! It was a really nice compliment.

Dating and other chance encounters
I met Chris on Wednesday evening, at Starbucks. This is the guy I found on Craigslist. After having a couple of really good phone conversations, the face-to-face fell flat. It could have been the crowded Starbucks, or the fact that I am the first white woman he has pursued romantically, or that I was still flustered from my encounter with the pervert at Books a Million who was trying to look up my skirt.

Yes, you heard right my friends.

I first noticed him when I was looking at the new books in the front of the store. But I didn’t really pay any attention. I then walked to the knitting books towards the back of the store and I noticed someone around but I again didn’t think much of it. But then I realized it was a man looking in the craft section. Trying not to be judgmental, I brushed it off. Then I noticed he really wasn’t looking at the books on the lowest shelf, just pretending to which I found odd. And then I slowly realized that he was craning his head to look up my skirt. I was so flustered I didn’t know what to do. I tried to be as unobtrusive as possible, not know what his reaction would be. I closed my long coat around me and walked to the next aisle where there were other customers as he walked away. I haven’t had an incident like that in a long time. How long was he following me around the store and I didn’t even notice? Then I was afraid he was going to follow me outside so I walked around the store and didn’t see him. As I was leaving I noticed the security guard but at that point it seemed useless. Horrifying. This whole thing has made me realize that I am not as aware of what is going on around me as I used to be. I guess I am comfortable in my work-neighborhood so I don’t think that there are bad people around. I don’t live in total paranoia, but as a woman in a city, we have to be aware. Maybe that’s the silver lining to all of this.

So unfortunately I was a little flustered when I met Chris across the street at Starbucks. BTW, have you tried the Gingerbread Latte yet? Dee-lish. Tastes just like gingerbread.

Over the past couple of days I have been wondering if he would call, feeling kind of disappointed. (Yes, I did email him yesterday, but I have sixth sense about these things.) But when I got home this evening there was a message. I am glad. I like to go out with someone at least twice before I give them the axe. Kidding! The first date is not a good indication because everyone is on their best behavior.

I am watching “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” tonight. Rudolph was on this past week and Charlie Brown is on Tuesday. The Grinch will round out my holiday TV shows and I will be ready for Christmas. I will sneak in “Bad Santa” for flavor!

Now get back to your holiday knitting!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Warning, Sock Swap Picture

Warning, Sock Swap Picture

Here is my first Holiday Knits Sox Exchange sock. I am really happy w/it because I never

would have picked this color scheme (Sock Garden "Rocky Moutain Dusk") for myself but I like it. Last week I felt overwhelmed. Between this socks project and the pair for my mother for Christmas, I didn’t think I would ever get through it. But now that this first sock is finished and I am close to completing my mother’s pair, I am feeling better. When I finish my mother’s second sock I will start on my father’s scarf.

Yesterday I washed and blocked my cousins’ scarves. The red one is really scratchy so I am wondering whether I should make another one. It only took like 2 nights to finish so it won’t be a big deal. Hmmmm, decisions.

I have a new prospect, Chris, from craigslist. We are going to meet tomorrow night at one of the three Starbucks in Dupont Circle. (Are three Starbucks w/in a mile of each other really necessary?) We had a great phone conversation last night. And he is buying property in Belize. What a small world! Got to keep this one around.

And of course Charles is still lingering. (the whole thing has rendered me speechless. I am sitting here with just nothing to say.)

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Back from NJ

On the Road Again
I am home from Thanksgiving at my brother’s house in New Jersey. It was a fun few days, got to see my 3 nephews who are so nice. When Tommy (13) and Jack (11) were babies I walked on water. Then for many years they really didn’t pay much attention to me. But now that they are getting older I am cool again. No matter how hard I tried, I took their behavior personally so it’s nice to be back in their good graces. And Brian, 3 1/2, loves me.

I happened upon these Santas filing down the sidewalk, ringing bells.

I went into New York on Friday. My brother had a half day so he took the two older boys in and I joined them. I walked around Rockefeller Plaza, saw the tree, Eurythmics were on the Today show so I saw Annie and Dave! And then I made my way to the Museum of Modern Art for a couple of hours. It was a great day. So glad I got into NY for at least a few hours.

Isnt' this a great sculpture??

I did a little knitting but didn’t have a lot of time to myself. I am almost finished with my first swap sock.

Tommy and Jack were intrigued, for sure. Jack even mentioned a knitted I-pod cover. I have a vague recollection of seeing one on a web site somewhere.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Warning, sock swap pictures.

Warning, sock swap pictures.

Maybe my sock pal doesn’t read my blog.

Here’s my progress, I am so psyched with this yarn (Knitpicks Sock Landscape in "Rocky MountainDusk."

And my mother’s socks are cooking, too. I am realizing that the cuff is the most time consuming part of knitting socks.

My latest travel crisis is my trip to Las Vegas in Jan. My friend at work is putting together a trip so I jumped at the chance. I have always wanted to go to Vegas.

Not wanting to go alone (boring) among a group of married people that I don’t know (never pretty), I asked my friend who has mentioned Vegas before to join me. He was all over the idea a couple of weeks ago. Today I emailed him the hotel choices. They are all nice, well-known places, on the strip, with a range of prices. I am not much of a gambler so I would like other stuff to do like shows, a spa, a pool.

But no, he finds the Lucky Lady Hotel and Casino on Travelocity. It’s downtown, not on the strip, and is $389 for 3-nights hotel and airfare. You get what you pay for! Now I am not a travel snob, but it sounds horrible and not what I want for my one and only trip to Vegas. The whole idea was to split the cost of a more expensive hotel and have FUN. Apparently that’s not what he had in mind.

I am not happy. He did not grow up in the U.S. and doesn't get a lot of the cultural nuances of America. Like Vegas. I am picturing pawn shops, 99 cent steak dinners, and a lot of white trash. He probably thinks he will find the "real Las Vegas" there. Yes he will, and it won’t be pretty.

And the kicker is money is not an issue w/him, at all.

So it looks like Vegas is a no-go unless I find someone else to go with me. Grrrr. This is where a boyfriend would come in handy.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Adding insult to injury

Salt on the wound
I stopped by the Giant this evening to get stuff to make chocolate chip cookies to bring to my brother’s for Thanksgiving and I see the “Sexiest Man Alive” issue of People is out. The recipient of the coveted title this year is Matthew McConaughey, a worthy candidate.

What is so stunning is that M., my fling in Belize looks just like him. In fact, at one point over beers in Belize we all talked about the resemblance.

Of all people to pick this year. The irony!

So all these memories came flooding back, right there in my grungy little Giant. I haven’t even been looking at my pictures because I don’t want to remember him. And all of his cuteness. Ugh.

Here, Sarah, let’s toy with your emotions a little. My poor little broken heart, stepped on. The proverbial nose thumbed in my general direction.

Life is funny that way, isn’t it.

Yeah, really f*cking funny.

I started my Holiday Sock Swap socks, and started them again, and again, and once again. Until I finally got the gauge right. So they are looking really good, but I won’t show you as not to ruin the surprise for my sock buddy. The great part about them is I am using yarn colors that I wouldn’t pick for myself.

Lord knows I have plenty of knitting to keep my mind off of other things.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

New Yarn

New Yarn

My yarn from Knit Picks arrived. Some more sock yarn (Sock Garden in “Geranium” and “Hollyberry” and Sock Landscape in “Rocky Mountain Dusk”), some for me, and one mystery color for the Holiday Sock Swap. So mysterious! And the coal and cranberry “Panache” is for a scarf for my father. I realized last week that he might feel left out if he doesn’t get a knitted gift from me. And he is so easy to please. He is so appreciative of gifts, it’s so refreshing.

I will do some swatching last night before Corey came over and started my Holiday Sock Swap. I am psyched to start the swap socks, but I have to remember to keep working on my mother’s pair.

I should be able to steam through my father’s scarf as soon as I figure out what kind of stripes I am going to do. Someone shared with me this very cool website called the Random Stripe Generator. It’s fun to play around with.

I added some new pictures of finished projects to my flickr account in the right column. I think I am just about caught up with pictures of my finished projects to date.

Other Amusements
I had one of those I-am-so-glad-to-live-in-the-city days today. I had my regular Smithsonian volunteering gig (I was at the American History museum) and then I swung by the office to get my pictures that I had left on my desk so I decided to stick around. I got some lunch at Pizzeria Paradiso, read the paper, had a glass of red wine. Then got hot chocolate at Cosi and poked around Olsson’s. Fun day.

Ronald and I went to the movies tonight. We tried to see “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” but it was sold out, all night! The only movie playing that had tickets available within a reasonable time was “Derailed” with Clive Owen and Jennifer Aniston. It was OK, your run of the mill Hollywood thriller. The biggest disappointment was Clive had an American accent. So wrong!

After the movie we went to Le Madeleine. On the way we started talking about the new version of “Pride and Prejudice” that is coming out, with Keira Knightley. I can’t stand her, don’t see her in movies, think she is kind of creepy actually. That lead to a discussion of all the versions of “Pride and Prejudice” that have come out in recent history, including “Bride and Prejudice” which I recently saw. It was pretty good, an Americanized Bollywood movie. I was a little annoyed by how western the Indian actresses were and Ronald wanted to start a debate on my point. Well, I just wasn’t in the mood. I have had these discussions with him before and he just pushes and pushes and then it turns into an argument.

I think his nose was out of joint. He paid for our hot chocolate and my croissant and when we got to the table he made it very clear that I owed him money. Sheesh. The male ego is an amazing thing. If women had an ounce of that ego coursing through our veins, we would rule the world.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Vacation Hangover

This is the cabana we stayed in in Belize.

Isn’t it cute?

This is Pompillion Caye where we went snorkeling. Postcard beautiful. Those are pelicans taking a rest from dive-bombing the fish.

I can’t believe how long it is taking me to get over my vacation. I miss the sun and beach and atmosphere so much. I was so removed from my normal existence in Belize. Everything was different. That’s what made it such a great vacation.

And the crush! Ugh, it’s killing me. I know it’s over but I can’t shake this guy. Now that my hormones are normalizing, I think I will be feeling less anxious. He replied to my email, my heart was pounding and it was taking forever to open (Yahoo was so slow yesterday). It was a friendly, polite message, but nothing more than that. Oh, well. It was a fun couple of days.

Ok, you caught me.

I am cheating.

In between gift socks and swap socks, I am knitting a spiral scarf for myself. Once the yarn gets here, I will start my Holiday Sock Swap socks. I promise!

And my father’s scarf.
And finish my mother’s socks.
And weave in the ends on my cousins scarf.
And block that and the other cousin’s scarf.
And try to squeeze in hats and a scarf for my nieces and nephew in Maine.

Monday, November 14, 2005

The crush

I bought some yarn for the socks I am making for the Holiday Sock Exchange, and some for me and some for a scarf for my dad for Christmas. I realized I was making a lot of knitted gifts and nothing for him. A simple scarf in red and charcoal gray will do the trick. I can’t discuss the socks I am making, though, because I don’t want to give it away for the person I am knitting for. Lips are sealed.

It’s official. I have a crush. On M. Who I met in Belize. I keep looking at the pictures from Belize and get all mooshy. He’s so damn cute. And funny. And polite. And interesting. And a great kisser.

I broke down and emailed him today. I wanted to wait another day or two but couldn’t. This is fun, I haven’t felt this way about a boy in a long time. I guess 36 isn’t dead!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Back to Reality


I am back from vacation and feeling that melancholy of not wanted to be home. I will take that as a sign of a great vacation.

Belize was so wonderful, or specifically Placencia were I spent the week. The people were so friendly and happy. Everyone says hello, waves, remembers your name. By American standards they are poor, but were so warm and sincere, it reminds you that things don’t make you happy. I love the United States and feel very lucky to live here, but there are so many things I distain. When I travel abroad I am reminded of how materialistic we are. And let’s face it, we are a fat nation. I noticed it when I was in the Belize Airport yesterday. I noticed it, too, when I was in Paris in February. The Americans stick out, literally.

Placencia is on the coast, on a tiny peninsula actually, so I was surrounded by the ocean and warm breezes. Aahhh, to me that’s living, give me a sunny beach any day. And it is undeveloped except for a few fancy resorts. We didn’t go that route, though, opting for a little, locally-owned place called the Blue Crab. We stayed in a cabana with a porch and thatch roof, right on the beach.

I just loved this sign:

I was so careful about not getting sunburned because it totally ruins the vacation. Friday we went snorkeling and I got a little burn on the backs of my legs which is feeling much better. My other injury is major bruises on the inside of my upper arms. It’s a funny story, though, really.

We met these guys from South Carolina who delivered a sailboat for a charter company. They sailed 5 days from Florida, how cool is that? So we hung out with them and some other sailors from South Africa for a couple of days. Gegi (my friend I was traveling with) and I stayed on the boat Wed. night – it was late, we were buzzed, I hooked up w/Boy M …

Getting on and off the boat was tricky because the dock was much higher than the back of the boat. It was never graceful, but we managed (the boys made it look so easy) until Thurs. morning. Boy M couldn’t pull the boat close enough to the dock from me to hoist myself up. So he had a brilliant idea that he pull be up. No, not happening I said. But he insisted. Struggle, grunt, struggle. Splash. The next thing I know we are in the water, fully clothed and my glasses have drifted to the bottom. Boy M panics, are you ok, get back on the boat, are you injured, blah blah blah.

I am fine, I can swim, but my concern is my glasses. And get back on the boat? Are you kidding? That is what started all of this. I tell him to go on board to get his mask so he can find my glasses, and then I will swim to shore. The water was shallow and clear so he found my glasses and a flashlight while he was down there.

It was so funny, really. The unfortunate part of the whole thing is that I was in my clothes and shoes. I was so embarrassed to be walking around at 7:30 AM dripping wet, looking for Gegi who had left the boat w/o a note or anything. We found her, though, and she got a huge laugh. Actually everyone did as the story spread among the rest of the crew.

The bruises didn’t appear until a few hours later and I have no recollection of hitting anything on the way down. They are disgusting, I can’t even look at them! And Boy M got a black eye. That I would love to see!

I will have more about my trip in the coming days. My bag was lost for a couple of days so I bought a disposible camera to fill in until I got my digital camera back. So there could be some good pictures, there, too.

I did actually finish one of my mother’s socks and started the second. I pulled out my knitting while waiting in the Belize International Airport yesterday to discover I had finally lost needle #5. I say finally because I am always dropping it, misplacing it, nearly losing it. It is somewhere in Belize right now, enjoying the sun and sand. I was bummed, though, I could have gotten a lot of knitting done.

I joined the Holiday Knit Sock Exchange. Just waiting to hear back from my sock buddy. I was a little confused about who was knitting for whom, but I think I have it figured out now. This will be fun!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

I am nuts?


Having failed Socktober Fest, I just signed up for a holiday sock exchange. "Why, Sarah, when you couldn't finish a pair of socks in a month?" you ask. I am asking myself that very question.

And the person who I will be knitting for might be celebrating MLK's birthday with a nice new pair of socks. Deadline is Nov. 7 if you're interested (click on the button).

Other Amusements
I went to a fabulous exhibit of Turkish costumes today at the Freer Gallery at the Smithsonian. The colors and fabrics were so rich and vibrant. Gorgeous, go see it.

This is one of the kaftans.

I usually volunteer at the Smithsonian every other Saturday morning, but there was a scheduling mistake and they didn't need me so I stopped by this exhibit.

Washington has some great exhibits this fall and winter, all over the city.

Corey is driving me to the airport early tomorrow morning, so sweet of him, so he is staying the night. (Wink wink, nudge nudge.) We are going to see "Shopgirl" in Bethesda tonight.

And man, do I need some action. We do this dance when ever we are together. Even though we know we are strictly friends-with-benefits, he is careful of the boundaries and waits for me to give the silent go-ahead for him to make a move. My life can be so amusing.

I will be back next week.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

I am so ready


Here’s the progress on sock #1.

I like the colors on this, I hope I can match the stripes on #2. These will probably a Christmas gift for my mother. Can you believe it’s November already. Need to pick up the speed on the gift-knitting.

I am so ready for a change of scenery! This week has been slow, uninspired, and just plain lousy. I feel so out of sorts. Maybe it’s winter approaching.

I bought some memory for my camera so I can take lots of pictures in Belize. My friend emailed me this week and it sounds like she is having a fun time. I specifically remember her using the words layed back and chill. We will meet in Placencia on Sunday.

All I am bringing is shorts and t-shirts, bathing suits, sunscreen, a pair of pants, a jacket, and some reading material. I have been reading "The Little Friend" by Donna Tartt for months now so I plan on finishing it next week. Very easy packing.

Now to decide what knitting to bring. Packing the knitting is not so easy, it takes some planning. I could probably finish this pair of socks over the course of the week. I don’t want to bring any scarf projects, or a sweater because I think it will be too hot. Who wants to think about keeping warm in December when it’s 80 degrees!

Signing off until next weekend! Bon voyage.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween

The holiday eating season has started early this year. I made these cupcakes for Deanna’s birthday (those are spiders) – she loved her scarf btw – and another, unrelated party was planned at work today, too. The theme was “Bring your autumn treats!” What good timing, I was baking anyway. It was fun, I love a dessert buffet. Banana pudding, sweet potato pie, cheese cake, cookies, flan, pumpkin bread, apple pie, marshmallow peeps, but I see a trend starting. I use a lot of vendors in my job and they always send food for holiday gifts. And people are always baking and bringing stuff in to the office. And it’s dark out so it’s time to hibernate. Maybe if I turn up the knitting it will keep my hands occupied and keep me from indulging too much. It’s hard to eat and knit.

Wondering about those crazy looking cupcakes? Me, too. Last night, in the kitchen, I was reminded that Martha Stewart knows her sh*t. These little guys looked so cute on the Reynolds website. Cute schmute. It was hard! And the few that survived last night barely made the trip to the office. Note to self - don't try to be holly homemaker, it's not a good look for you.


I turned the heel on the purple and green socks and – phew – the number of stitches I picked up matched on both sides of the heel. That’s always a hold-your-breath moment for me. The
confetti yarn is doing funky stripes now that I am working on the foot. It will be interesting to see how this pans out.

Thanks Lolly for organizing Socktober Fest. Even though I didn’t finish my pair, or even one sock, it was fun, got me motivated, and it was great to see what everyone else is doing.

Maybe it can extended to Thanksoxing. Or Soxember.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Back to EDT

This not my favorite day of the year. The day we turn the clocks back and welcome the long, dark days of winter. Although when I lived in Rhode Island it got darker a lot earlier than Washington, D.C. so I am thankful for that. I woke up early, and then realized I hadn’t turned my clock yet so it was even earlier. So I have gotten a good jump on the day.

I started a second Spiral Scarf last night. This one is for me, in my colors, a dark reddish purple color. I am using Homespun, like the pattern calls for, I think the color is called Antique. And I bought 36-inch needles to handle the great length that this thing acquires as you keep adding stitches. I struggled with the last couple of rows on the first one I made.

I finished the heel flap of my sock, but haven’t tackled turning the heel. Because I added stitches to the pattern at the cuff, the heel is now going to be larger so I need to find a pattern that started with about 60 stitches.

I wore my Paris Loop poncho yesterday and it feels like it is stretching out to the point that is will slip right down my body. I made it last year, when I didn’t know a whole lot about knitting and pieced together my own version of the pattern. That could be the problem. Short of ripping it out and starting over, I am not sure what to do. Even in the wind yesterday, it was surprisingly warm.

Oh the boys.

Well you know that Charles called me last week, after many weeks of no communication. So I called him back after sitting on it for about a day. The conversation went fine, he was wondering what happened to me, I was wondering what happened to him. He explained how busy he has been (hmmm, heard all of this before), he just needs me to be patient, I am trying to be patient but hasn’t given me anything to go on, I am looking for a serious relationship, marriage, he will be moving to St. Louis very soon and where does that leave me, blah blah blah.

He had been in St. Louis all that time, working on the house he is refurbishing. He called me from Montreal, where he is currently working. How does he deal with such a complicated life!?! He exhausts me. But he was back home (is this really home?) in D.C. on Friday so he came by and we got pizza and watched “Ladder 49.” It was nice evening, and I didn’t let him stay the night. I am going to drive him to BWI this morning, he’s heading to St. Louis.

And of course Corey is still complicating things. We went to an exhibit of silver at the Renwick and then to see Alice Neel at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Had a good day, he’s a great museum partner because he is an artist and appreciates museums. That is one of the things I like most about being friends with him. We ended up fooling around even we agreed to do our best to refrain. Yeah, right, he’s a man. If he wasn’t so good it wouldn’t be so hard!

If only I could glean all of the good qualities of all the men I have dated, I could build the perfect man. If only…

Hurricane Beta
is closing in on Central America. Belize was one of the countries on the list of those affected yesterday. But I just checked and it looks like it is heading due west over Nicaragua. My travel-partner, Geraldina, is in Belize now, I leave a week from today. Looks like it might be rainy but no hurricane winds or anything. Whooda thunk?

Thursday, October 27, 2005

A little diversion


I needed a break from socks. I have been tortured by that sock. And I have some Christmas gifts to get done.

Like this scarf.

I bought the yarn (Lambs Pride Bulky in Fuschia and Shangr-ri La) when I was in Boston in June, it's a gift for my cousin Maura. I think she will like it. It's a simple yarn over pattern on #17s. They feel quite different than the #1s I am using for my sock. I feel like I am using my whole upper body to knit rather than just my little hands and fingers.

It will brighted up the long, cold New York winter.

Here's a look at the yarn. This is a fun, quick project.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Yay, I am home

Yay, I am home. It’s so great to arrive home, to a familiar airport.

My cab driver had the delightful, memory-filled aroma of cologne and mint gum. All I needed was for him to be smoking a cigarette and I would have been transported back to my semester in Austria.

I am a sucker for good cologne. And a navy blue suit. Ooo-la-la.

I sat next to a very nice man on the flight back to D.C. He thought knitting was a lost art, that his mother was a knitter when he was a kid. It got me thinking about the resurgence of knitting. I think the Internet has played a big role.

Sock is coming along. I am much happier with this one. I cast on 60 stitches. I like the purple and green color combination. The flight attendant was impressed, she thought I was changing my yarn to make the stripes.

I had a message from Charles when I got home last night. I laughed out loud. He’s back. Again. I am still thinking about what to do. I am so intrigued by this man. Yet he is so not what I am looking for. It’s a quandary.

Home Improvements

I am home today, using my comp day, waiting for Frank to bring my radiators, finally. The fur is flying on my condo list serv already. We are being assessed for some unforeseen expenses from last year. And our condo fees are going up to make up for the anticipated high heating costs this year. The issue is that some buildings are really hot and people have their windows open all winter and some buildings are really cold and people have to use space heaters. I fall in the former but have figured out how to work the radiators to keep my unit a reasonable temperature. It is warm all the time, but I can keep it from being really hot. We live in old buildings (circa 1920) and are stuck with old boilers and radiators that aren’t that controllable. But I think people have more control over their too-hot radiators than they think.

And there is one really bitchy woman in my building who does nothing but flame. I don’t even read her missives when they appear on the listserv because they are snide, sarcastic, mean, and offer nothing positive. I feel kind of sorry for her, she must be very unhappy. I had a really bad experience with her that has left such a bad taste in my mouth. How do people walk around being mean to everyone? I just don’t get it.

Ok, ok, I’ll tell you the story.

It was during Ronald Regan’s funeral. I live across the street from the National Cathedral, where his funeral took place. I was watching some of it on TV and thought it was pretty lame that I was watching on TV what was happening outside my front door! So I went down to the lobby, where some other people had gathered, to watch what was going on.

The police weren’t allowing anyone stand in front of the building so we were crammed in the lobby. As the day proceeded, the secret service and police were forcing the general public standing on Wisconsin Avenue to keep walking or go inside one of the buildings. So a number of people came into our lobby. This really pissed Neighbor off because it is her lobby and who were these strangers coming in and blocking her view. Mind you, she is saying all of this out loud, being egged on by one of her friends. So Neighbor got into it with a woman in the lobby, it was ugly, and this woman’s daughter, who looked less than 10 years old, starts crying. And Neighbor just doesn’t quit, bitching and moaning about the strangers in the lobby, and how they should be standing in the back of the lobby so the people who live there can see outside because they live in the building, blah blah blah.

It was the most unbelievable thing I have ever witnessed. I stood there, frozen in shock about what I was witnessing. So Regan’s hearse whizzes by and I flee back upstairs to the safety of my condo, once again reminded that I live with trolls.

Monday, October 24, 2005

The perfect storm

I think I need to rename Socktober Fest Frogtober Fest. Lauren expects me to actually finish a pair of socks in return to participating? I think I will make this a learning process and leave it at that.

I realized that the socks I had made so much progress on weren’t fitting properly when they barely made it over my foot. The pattern called for 48 stitches. I was in denial, I admit. I pretty much knew the cuff wasn’t going to fit over my heal but I thought that maybe as it got longer it would fit better. How are you supposed to know how many stitches to start with? I think I need to buy a book. Can anyone shed some light?

So I have restarted FOUR times, no joke. I dropped a stitch in row 2 and it was totally lost. I was playing with the pattern, not wanting to start the sock with the fair isle part of the yarn. I messed up the 2x2 ribbing. You name it, it happened! Here we go again with 60 stitches.

The Perfect Storm
George Clooney, save me! I have been watching CNN this afternoon and heard something about a ‘perfect storm’ brewing on the east coast. Huh? I am supposed to leave tomorrow afternoon. Please don’t strand me in Dallas Wilma!

Other Amusements
Things are coming together for my trip to Belize. We are ignoring all tropical storms/ hurricanes in the area and forging ahead. She is leaving on Thursday so she will be traveling around for a week on her own before I arrive Nov. 6. We are meeting up on Placencia and are now finding a place to stay for the week. I am really looking forward to this trip.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Knitting on a plane

Look at all the knitting I got done on the flight to Dallas! I need to come up with some clever phrase for knitting on a plane. I like this self-striping yarn, but I feel like I am cheating and also that I don’t have any control over the creative process. The average joe will be intrigued and think it’s a lot of hard work. Is that good or bad? A philosophical question.

I had a look at the new magazine, Knit Scene, the other day. I was disappointed, but it will appeal to a hipper crowd, like Knit1 does. And the new Vogue Knitting had some interesting work, but nothing I would wear. You know what I mean? Often I see projects that are really beautiful and creative and different, but nothing that I would wear.

I didn’t have time to visit the Dupont Circle Fine Arts and Crafts Festival today. I was racing around before I had to get to the airport. I finally recycled my 10 year-old Mac today. Yay, it’s out of my house! D.C. had an electronics and hazardous waste drop off today at Carter Baron. (There is another one if you missed it.)

With a sense of freedom, I understood that I probably would never be a prolific
knitter, but I would remain curious and open to the possibilities. Most likely I
will never have the patience to follow fancy patters, but I will be able to pick
sensuous wool for a simple scarf and make a gift for someone I love.

“The Art of Failure”
Nora Isaacs
Alternative Medicine, November/December 2005

Friday, October 21, 2005

The week has flown

I had to quit the Jaywalker socks. The cuff was really tight, even after I switched to larger needles. Maybe it’s the yarn. Maybe it’s me! After two attempts it is time to move on.

I bought this self-striping yarn on ebay a little while ago-Confetti. I have never used this self-striping yarn before so I am curious how it will come together. This time I promise to swatch. When I am in a hurry to start something I often skip that important step. And then pay for it.

I had bookmarked and saved a number of sock patterns over the past year or so, knowing that someday I would start knitting socks. I am overwhelmed. So I am going to stick with a simple pattern. Nothing fancy with this self-striping yarn.

More Business Travel

I leave for Dallas tomorrow afternoon, for a quick business trip. I was in Dallas last year for a pretty long trip and vowed to never set foot there again, unless it was work related. Great. Back in the Big D. (Big Donut? Big Dildo? Big Dishwasher?)

Being from the liberal northeast, I don’t like Texas (with the exclusion of Austin). Being a Democrat I like Texas is less. There is little to do, the downtown area pretty much closes at 6 PM. You can’t walk anywhere. My friend recommended I visit the art museum. He was pleasantly surprised at how nice it was.

I am an alumnae admissions volunteer for my college. I staffed a college fair in Fairfax on Monday. It’s nice to see and interact with high school-aged kids once in a while. (I live in a bubble of people in my age group, mostly single, some married, mainly no children, but lots of dogs.)

I went to Simmons College, a small women’s college in Boston, so it’s interesting who comes over to the table. There are always the boys who are drawn to Boston, but don’t realize Simmons is all women. They always laugh and take it well, some want to sign up even more! And the fathers who went to MIT who know Simmons well because that is where they socialized. And the mothers who want their daughters to go to a women’s college. It is always fun. I can tell the girls who are Simmons material right away.

Now that Corey and I are doing it, things are weird. Not surprising but annoying nonetheless. My astrological sign –Sagittarius-dictates that I have to know why things happen, but for now I am going to let it ride.

We had a weird sort of fight/disagreement over the phone early in the week. It’s hard to describe, we both were a little hormonal. But he called back 10 minutes after we hung up and asked if I wanted to get pizza and watch TV on Thursday night. I appreciated the fact that he called back, he must have felt the strain in the conversation, and wanted to try to make it right. So he came over and we watched his shows (Smallville and Everwood) and ate Armand’s.