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.