Sunday, December 10, 2006

Secret Santa

I am participating in our office-wide Secret Santa this year. The fun starts tomorrow and culminates on Friday before our holiday luncheon. Luckily I picked the name of a colleague I like and have known for a while so this will be fun.

For the final gift and Secret Santa-reveal, I decided to make a simple scarf with some yarn I bought a while ago. I found this interesting pattern in “The Complete Book of Knitting,” by Barbara Abbey called diagonal ribbing or chevron.

I am thrilled with how the scarf is coming together. It’s a simple pattern that looks really nice as a scarf because it works on both sides of the scarf.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Gingerbread houses




There is a Gingerbread House competition (through Dec. 10) at the Darnall’s Chance House Museum in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. There were adults and children's entries, and the kids were far better than the adults in my opinion. The kids were so creative with the subjects they chose, like the "Christmas Bath" entry, and how they used the candy and other foods to build their creations. These two were my favorites (kid above and adult below).





A few years ago a friend of mine, who is an avid baker, hosted a gingerbread house making party. She baked the gingerbread and cut out the parts of the house, and also made the royal icing to hold it all together (amazing stuff, it’s like glue), and the guests brought the candy decorations.


It was such a blast. Once you start embellishing you can’t stop. Just when you think you have run out of ideas for how to use licorice or gum drops in fun and creative ways, another idea will pop into your head. When I was looking at the pictures I took yesterday I noticed things I had not seen before, like how one of the houses is partially made out of Fig Newtons.


Other happenings in D.C.

There are a couple of interesting photography exhibits at the National Museum of Natural History.

Nature’s Best Photography Exhibition


And Transitions: Photographs by Robert Creamer which isn’t photography as you think of it. This artist uses a scanner to make his photographs. It was fascinating. There is a video of him in his studio. The subject matter is natural objects like plants and flowers, but he turns them into totally different looking objects.


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Knitted Christmas Trees

Here are some easy ways to move past the stress of the holidays:

And of course there is always knitting.


I am working on a pair of socks and trying to finish seaming Sunrise Circle jacket. I always blow seaming out of proportion. It’s really never as bad as I think it’s going to be. And it is one of the most rewarding parts of a project – bringing all of those extraneous parts together to make something wearable.

I love these knitted Christmas trees! The Crafty Modster is very clever.

It’s worth a trip to NoVa to visit the craft store to buy some cheap, tacky yarn. Hey, this would be fun to make for my Secret Santa at the office, depending on who it is.


Am I getting old, or is there really nothing on TV? Programming is so lame. The same shows are on every network channel, just repackaged and on different nights.

So how do you get rid a guy that won’t go away?

A while ago I was seeing Chris. His behavior warranted not seeing him anymore, but I still get these random emails from him. “I was thinking about you….Hope you are well…” crap. Sounds nice, I know, but no, he’s not. I want to reply and tell him to leave me alone. Corey tells me to just ignore him.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I hope you caught Charlie Brown tonight


For me, A Charlie Brown Christmas puts me in the Christmas mind-set. I guess it harkens back to watching it as a kid. It was a special occasion, I think my mother even made us popcorn, when Charlie Brown, Rudolph, the Grinch, the Little Drummer Boy, Heatmeiser, and all the rest came on.

I hope you didn’t miss it this year. Yes, you can watch it on DVD, at any time of the year, but that doesn’t make it special.



Rethink your holiday gift giving:

http://www.yogajournal.com/views/1443_1.cfm?ctsrc=nlv233


Friday, November 24, 2006

Knitting and Retirement

My parents are contemplating retiring with in the next year. That is such a scary thing – my parents are getting old. They are in very good health, they drive, get around just fine, but it is sobering to know that they are getting old. My role as daughter is going to be changing.

Part of my current daughter-role is Reality. This summer I gingerly, because I never know what kind of reaction I am going to get at any given moment, asked my mother, what she had planned for retirement.

Oh I don’t know. I would like to learn how to knit.


This of course both excited me and scared me. Knitting is a great hobby, she must see how much I like it, her mother and sister were big knitters years ago, she lives in a cold climate so knitted wool stuff will come in handy, she has 6 grandchildren, and me, to make things for.

And then I though, how many scarves and sweaters will she be knitting with all of this free time? Egad.

What else do you have planned? What have you always wanted to do but couldn’t because of time, kids, whatever?

Oh, I don’t know. I am happy here.

I stressed the need for some kind of plan to fill the days and left it at that. The tension in the room was rising which was my cue to change the subject.

Luckily my father’s doctor frowned on the idea of retirement when he had his last appointment. She explained to my father that he needs the daily mental and physical stimulation to keep young. I was glad that a neutral and trusted third-party spoke up because they will listen to her. And now my mother is bringing up the topic which means she is thinking about it seriously.

So this Christmas I am going to give them a few books about how to retire. Surprisingly there are a lot of them! I can understand their lack of creativity. Their generation (they are the Veterans generation among demographers) so they worked to provide for their families, that was their identity, and they enjoy it. When we talked this summer about work and retirement they told me they enjoy getting up everyday and going to work. I am the opposite. I like my job, but I don’t look forward everyday to going to work. I can’t wait to retire!!

They really don’t have activities they do regularly for fun. Hobbies are so important! So hopefully they can develop some things they want to do for what the French all the third chapter. (Isn’t that a great expression?)

And I am going to start collecting patterns for sweaters I would love to make but know I will never have the time.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Knitting and Yoga

In the past few months I have noticed a change in my overall well being. I feel good all the time, even when I am bothered by things like work or family or boys. I have been working on my “things” in my own way, with my attitude being the number one adjustment. And I think it is all coming together, after years of work.

My entire adulthood has been a series of ups and downs that I had gotten used to. In my twenties I knew when things were going well that soon enough that would change. I have had periods of mild depression that I recognized and dreaded when they would come on. But it wasn’t anything serious and I knew it would pass like all the times before. It was mainly triggered by my hormones – I definitely suffered from PMS (as did the people around me!).

Over the last few months I have had a lightness that I have attributed to my ongoing yoga practice and a couple of chakra workshops at Spiral Flight.

And the light bulb just went on a little brighter when I read this:

http://www.yogajournal.com/dailyinsight/112206.html

So now I can add knitting to probable cause for my new lightness.

It’s hard to describe and when I try to tell people what yoga has brought to my life it starts to sound hokey and new-agey. I am not that AT ALL. But I really believe that yoga has taught me to remain centered and opened up my energy centers. This has not happened overnight and it is gratifying to know that all my inward focus is paying off.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

New rule

Metro voice

I had to ride both the subway and the bus home this evening because of meetings across town. Man, I don’t know how people ride the subway every day. I guess you develop a bubble to insulate you from all of the rude, inconsiderate, clueless people out there. Give me the bus any day!


Nothing protects you from inane conversation, though.


I think the new guy in charge of Metro should introduce the practice of using “Metro voice” when riding public transportation. That way we ALL don’t need to hear about the boy who is courting you and all your friends are asking about and why hasn’t he asked you out yet (giggle giggle) and we spent all of Saturday evening together and no, nothing happened and I am not going to ask him out first and it would be nice to bring a date to my office holiday party that is coming up on December 8th.


Ugh. Tone it down.


Here’s how Metro voice works.

Picture in your head the one person in your life you do not want to know anything about your personal life. This could be a boss, parent, landlord, freak you see at the Starbucks every day.

Now, when you start up a conversation while riding Metro, or any other form of public transport, either in person or on your &*^@! cell phone, picture that person sitting right next to you and alter your volume so as not to share every painful f*cking detail with that person and all of the hapless victims of your boundary-less life. (Must have been a millennial sitting there. It will take me a lifetime to gain even an ounce of patience for that group.)

Got it?

As a child you learned “inside voice.” Look how handy that has become in your adult life.

Monday, November 06, 2006

digital photography for dummies

I wish I could take better pictures with my digital camera. I was going to share my finished sock but the pics were lousy. The colors weren’t doing the yarn justice and the angle of my foot wearing the sock was a little weird.

I have also started my holiday knitting. I am being realistic with it being November already.

And I bought some pretty nice yarn for cheap at AC Moore for the Red Scarf Project. I think I will get 2-3 scarves done by January.


Now Norma Knits has created the Red Scarf Project blog. She puts it beautifully:

This is a project that touches my heart in a very big way.

The Orphan Foundation of America sponsors this project if you want to read more.


So instead of knitting projects, here is a pic from yesterday. I took a walk along the C&O Canal, I think it’s called the Capital Crescent Trail. I picked it up in Georgetown and walked to Fletcher’s Boathouse (and got to pee in the woods, yay!).

Lovely day.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Booo

It being Halloween and all, I thought I would share one of the scariest things I have seen in a long-ass time.


Click here if you dare.


Saturday, October 28, 2006

Why are so many people visiting my blog all of a sudden?

I went to the Dupont Circle Arts Festival earlier today. I even motivated myself to walk down there and back (about 6 miles).

It was a great time, I saw some really nice handbags, jewelry, fiber, paintings, pottery, and photography, and I bought a few gifts. No knitters though. That surprised me.

I don’t think the vendors who were literally blown away were too psyched. The dark clouds cleared to reveal the gorgeous sun and warm temperatures, and brought blustery wind that was knocking over stuff without warning. What a shame! Many were packing up early in the afternoon.

Red Scarf Project

And thanks to Wonkette for the mention in her blog about the Red Scarf Project. She has a lot more eyeballs than I do. When I saw the major spike in my traffic it startled me!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Send warmth and encouragement to America’s college-bound foster youth

The Red Scarf Project is gearing up again this year.

The Orphan Foundation of America needs thousands of handmade scarves to put in their Valentine Care Packages they send to parentless youth attending college. Your handiwork will truly be the personal touch in these packages and bring students the encouragement they need to move forward and graduate to a brighter future. For over 25 years, OFA has provided funding and family-like support to foster youth in transition.

Guidelines to participate are at www.orphan.org/red_scarf_project.html

At the bottom of the page is a free Lily Chin scarf pattern, too.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

How could I have missed “dominant male seeking submissive female”?

I don’t usually go on and on about my pathetic dating life, but I just had to share the emails I received today.

I few days ago I winked at Bobby. He’s cute, tall, interesting, lives nearby. When I got an email response from him I was surprised because of the lack of action I get from men that I initiate contact with.

So I sent a short, cheery message explaining myself a little more, asking a few questions.

Today I got his reply with my morning coffee:

Subject: Re: Re:

Thanks!

Got a question. Did you see my tag line saying I'm a Dominant male seeking a submissive female?

Just wondering,

B

Uhh, no, I guess I didn’t.

I have to say it flustered me a little.

Dominant male? Nope, definitely missed that in your headline.

After the initial shock, a small part of me kind of wanted to play along because I know nothing about this behavior. But I don’t think I could fake it.

So I am just going to ignore the whole situation. And laugh every time I tell the story.

*************************************

Later on in the day I get this little ditty.



Subject: hello sweety

Hello
how are u doing ,i'm david by name i dont mind telling me yours,
i'm looking for a serious relatioship, a person that will care for me and loves me.when i was searching i go through your profile it was really making me amazing and so good i now decided to give you message ,i will like to know you better. if you dont mind you can add me to your messenger my own user is david4lovers08@xxxxx.com

Mind you, anyone who starts their communication with me using words like sweety, sexy, beauty, hottie, etc. is automatically put in the hell no category. It is a huge turnoff for me.

If this is all that is out there, I will take a pass and sit on my own couch waiting for the next Netflix movie to appear in my mailbox.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Two scarves done


I finished two scarves in the past week. Just in time, it has gotten pretty chilly in D.C. I love scarves because they liven up the long cold winter.

I love these both and they are so different.

Here is Geometric Scarf from Vogue Knitting “Scarves,” published in 1999. This yarn, Schoeller and Stahl “Limbo,” is really gorgeous. It is a soft wool and hangs really nicely. I would definitely seek this yarn out again for a project.

It took me at more than a year to finish this scarf because I got so confused by the pattern. It sat for many months from my frustration. But I picked it up again in August, determined to figure it out and finish it for this fall.

I think my knitting skills were not advanced enough when I started this thing, but over the course of a year, I learned a lot and felt I understood the way knitting actually works (rather than just following a pattern).


This is Diagonal Block Scarf, also from Vogue Knitting “Scarves.” I had some yarn (Inca Wool) that I wanted to use because I love the color.


On a whim I gauged the yarn and found this scarf to try, not really thinking I would finish it because I felt like I was just playing. But the entrelac was easy to knit and pretty neat looking so I forged on and completed this a couple of days ago.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Today is the best sort of day

Today is the best sort of day.

After being tied up with work, travel, and out-of-town visitors over the past 2+ weeks straight, I have a long weekend to do nothing. And I kicked my long weekend of nothing off this morning by doing a whole lot of nothing. In fact, I am still in my pjs (at 1:05 PM ET) and might not get dressed today.

I thought about making a list of things that I have to do over the next 3 days, like household chores and grocery shopping. As much as I try, I am not a list person. My dear friend Becky, whom I have known since our first day at Simmons, is a manic list person. The excitement she got from list-making was contagious, but the bug never truly bit. At work I make lists just to remember all that I am doing. But on the homefront, not so much. I find lists rather defeating because I see all that I have NOT done.


Entertainment

Corey and I called a meeting of the Lonely Hearts Club** and went to see The Defeated last night. It was classic Martin Scorsese, lots of killing and blood (that looked all too fake for my liking). Corey had it right when he said there hasn’t been a good shoot ‘em up movie out in a while.

Alec Baldwin stole the show in my opinion. When he first appeared the audience laughed. I hope he is not becoming a caricature of himself. But he was very funny.


And I love watching movies that take place in Boston.


Dating

Ken and I had our third date on Thursday night. We went to Las Tapas in Old Town for tapas and some flamenco dancing. I got there first so I took a table not realizing that he had made a reservation. Well, the hostess sat me smack-dab in the front row! It was really funny. But the music and dancing was great, and it worked well for an early date because there was some entertainment. And the food was really good; the menu was a little different than Jaleo and Zatinya which was a nice change of pace. The sangria was good, too, I think they put cherry brandy in it.

I was hoping for a kiss but no dice. I drove him to his car that was parked a couple of blocks away and thought, ahh, that’s his ploy. But no. Being the son of a Southern Baptist preacher, maybe he is a little more reserved?

No complaints, though. We are warming up to each other and getting to know each other slowly. As he pointed out after date #1, and I could not agree more, we are very much a like which brings an intricate dynamic to our relationship. It can test my reactionary personality sometimes.

On the plus side, he is really sexy and smart. I guess that makes me sexy and smart, too? ;)


** Lonely Hearts Club was created, in jest, when Corey and I realized that we were spending Friday nights together and not with dates. My (male) friend O thought it was hysterical and was our first member. When I asked Christina if she wanted to join, her response was 'Why would I want together with you and all of your old boyfriends?'


Swipe?



Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Mysteries of Pittsburgh

I was in Pittsburgh last week for business and visited The Andy Warhol Museum. He grew up in Pittsburgh.

Here are pictures from a gallery featuring helium balloons and a ceiling fan. It was really fun and visitors are encouraged to become part of the art.

Overall the museum was interesting but I felt like I hadn’t seen much of his work. And the interior of the museum had that cold, grungy look that many contemporary museums have. It’s not an environment I thrive in. It reminded me of the Pompidou Center in Paris and one other contemporary museum I visited when I was there last year. It is interior design with an attitude.

But the artwork and artifacts from Warhol’s life were interesting to see, including a display case of his health and beauty products. I so wish I had taken a picture. I also did not know that he wore wigs.

I was pleasantly surprised by Pittsburgh. I look forward to going back to explore some more. On business trips there is very little time for fun stuff.

Knitting

I was knitting, too, and should have pictures up soon.


I have resurrected the Sunrise Circle Jacket. When summer hit, I couldn’t face knitting wool. Too hot and scratchy. I just have the back to complete, then the seaming, and finding the right buttons.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Like they invented it

Why is it that once male hetero culture adopts something The Rest of Us have been doing all along, it gets renamed, usually with the prefix Male or Man.

Over the weekend I came across two new words that I fear are going to enter the vernacular: male-cation and male-lationship.

The Rest of Us have been going on vacation with people of the same sex for a long time. It’s fun, afterall, they are friends, their parents own a condo, it’s a cheap way to get away. And we have been having loving, platonic relationships with people of the same sex because it is rewarding, develops us into well-rounded and stable individuals, and is part of human nature.

Why is it that all of a sudden the hetero male culture is embracing going on a vacation with the guys and admitting to having loving, platonic relationships with other men, and it gets renamed. Like they invented it.

I am so glad I am not a man. It must be so constricting. I meet so many men who are afraid to show their feelings, compliment another guy on his looks, admire someone, wear clothes that are too big (yes, it’s true) because it might be construed as being gay. Makes me love being a woman even more.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Thanksgiving on ice

I started this post sitting on the phone with my friend D, booking our Thanksgiving trip to Iceland. We have been talking about this trip for a couple of years now and finally the stars are aligned and we are going.

I don’t travel home for Thanksgiving anymore because I go there (Rhode Island) for Christmas every year. So this is the perfect time to go to Iceland. I often have to invite myself to someone’s house, it’s been my older brother in NJ the last couple of years, and deal with the drama of my brother and the drama of my sister-in-law’s family. I love seeing my nephews but the holidays make me feel like I am at the mercy of other people and I am tagging along.

Enough on holiday drama. It’s too early!!

So this will be fun. Cold, but fun. D is a great guy, full of energy and curiosity.

And the scarves I am working on will come in so handy.


Anyone have any advice on what to see in Iceland?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Vicarious real estate

Had an interesting afternoon condo-hunting with my friend O. He is looking for an investment property and took me along today to 3 places, one in Brookland, one near the U St. corridor, and one downtown.

The place in Brookland was not open like he thought so that was out. Nice residential neighborhood, though.

The place on Florida was preconstruction so all we got was a computer animation DVD extolling the virtues of D.C. The building is named The Floridian so I think they were trying to make it feel like Miami with a lot of glass, steel, and cool people sipping drinks. Didn’t really work, frankly. And the overly skinny real estate agent did a terrible job selling overpriced condos that won’t be ready for another year, which translates to at least a year-and-a-half. (It looked like the hole was still being dug.) Who knows where the real estate market will be then.

The final place was on 12th, an older building that just went condo. The developer is doing minimal fixes on the units so is selling them at pretty good prices.

Sold!

I really believe in the feeling a place gives me and this place had a good vibe. Not all too-cool-for-school, hipster bs.

All of this made me appreciate my home all the more. Had it not dropped in my lap at a really great price I probably would not have bought it, but it has character, is in a good neighborhood, it is green but still in the city, and is close to work.

Friday, September 08, 2006

It's not all that boring around here

So much going on around here, starting with the excitement of protesters in front of the National Cathedral last night. We haven’t had that much activity since Reagan’s funeral.

I knew that there would be a protest on Wisconsin and my timing was perfect. I parked the car and as I approached the corner I saw the Larouche people and laughed to myself and was disappointed that this was all we were getting.

But then I turned the corner to a crush of people with flags and bull horns, yelling things in English and a language I did not understand except for “Hezbollah” and “Iran” and “terrorist.” I pushed my way through to my building, feeling like I don’t live in THAT boring of a neighborhood.

#2
The second most exciting thing is that I posted my ad in the City Paper matches earlier this week and finally I am getting some online-dating-action.

Match.com has crashed and burned in my opinion. It was my source for dating for years. I was meeting interesting, nice men all the time. I re-upped about a month ago and nothing. No winks, no emails, nothing. So I started responding to people. And again, nothing. Not even a polite thanks-but-no-thanks.

Whatever.

But the City Paper has come through for me.

Meeting SP on Sunday for coffee, and probably A, too. Yippee. The dry spell is over.

#3
Coming in third, the temp at work this week. The straight girls and gay boys are all atwitter. We have very little eye-candy around the office so this is very big.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

But of course

Napoleon was the theme last night at Majestic Cafe on King Street in Old Town (Va.). Not the French guy, but the style of food. Ironically the waiter was French, as was the girl bussing the table and pouring water.

A vendor I do a lot of work with and have become chummy with took me out to dinner. I had this fabulous fried green tomato and goat cheese napoleon for dinner and almond napoleon with gingered peaches for dessert.


The food was so great. I don't care for southern food, but I do like the updated 'southern nouvelle' that is featured at Majestic. It's much lighter, less smoky, updated ingredients and flavors.

The kicker was the red velvet cake on the dessert menu and on display at the host’s station. None of us had a piece but it made us chuckle and remember the opossum-shaped cake from "Steel Magnolias." It looked pretty nasty, actually. Red cake is not appetizing.

Summer….
Summer is almost over, even though the hot weather can stretch into October. While I enjoyed my summer, it wasn’t as big as I was hoping. I always have such great expectations for the summer, and I end up disappointed.


Is it all the hype that has lead me to unrealistic expectations?

Chapter 2006 is sooo right, summer TV sucks. There is nothing worth watching on, day after day. Over the weekend I watch season three of Sex and the City on DVD. Love that show. I laughed, cringed, snickered, but after 3 DVDs, I need a little space.

I know summer is ready to be over because I am back knitting wool. I can’t get enough of making scarves.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Vers le sud



I went to see “Heading South” yesterday evening at the Avalon. It was an interesting movie and I definitely have my opinions about it, so I guess that classifies it as a well-made film.

The depiction of the women interested me the most. They come across as so narrow-minded and self-centered. Legba, the focus of their desires, was what they, individually, needed him to be. They knew very little about his real life, outside of the tropical paradise they were in, but seemed to think they were in control.

When the movie first came out I didn’t think I would see it so I didn’t read anything about it, but now I am curious to read a review or a commentary. The soundtrack was very interesting, but I can’t seem to find it anywhere.

Anybody see it?

(Back) On the Needles

After finishing the Geometric Scarf, and letting it sit around for a little while, I have decided I want it a little longer. I ripped out the part that kept me from finishing it, for more than a year, and I am going to add at least three inches. I am tall so I like a long scarf.

I started this crazy looking thing last week, and I have gotten so far I can’t rip it out now. I don’t love it, but it is interesting looking and will be a nice addition to the scarf collection in the middle of the winter. I bought this yarn a couple of years ago, on the Internet somewhere, for $1 a ball. It is Russian so I can’t tell you what it is, but I have a colleague at work who speaks and reads Russian so I will ask her for a translation. I know it is wool and this grass-green color is kind of funky.

Monday, August 21, 2006

People and their precious cars

I had a G-rated incident today in Glover Park. I parked, ran into the hardware store – I was there maybe 3 minutes – and when I came out a car had parked behind me, somewhat boxing me in. I cursed to myself, but no biggie, my Golf gets me into and out of very small spaces.

When I got in my car I noticed the driver of the Mitsubishi returning to her car, looking like she had forgotten something. My first instinct was to wait until she was gone again, but alas, I was starving and wanted to get home.

I put the car into R, back up very gingerly, put it in 1st and waited for the traffic to let me in. As I am sitting there, the chippy calls into my open window

You hit my car.

My reply, blood sugar dropping rapidly,

You’re in the city, get over it.

Now mind you, I felt no impact, and as a city-parker I am pretty attuned to bumping other cars to get in and out of parking spots. It happens all the time. I do it to other cars and they do it to me. Welcome to the big city. If you don’t like, don’t have a car.

If I had hit her car, it was probably my bumper leaning on hers. How much momentum can a person even get back-up about 5 inches. My God!!

I am getting your plate numbers.

Yeah, whatever sweetheart. Go back to Virginia, the land of parking lots, and stay there.

Never mind that she was parked illegally.

Sheesh. People and their precious cars. I will never get it. It’s a hunk of metal with four wheels.

Knitting (as promised!)

This is the Geometric Scarf (found in “Vogue Knitting Scarves”) I started about a year and a half ago. I got to the point where the horizontal rib started on the second half and froze. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to do it. The pattern is very cryptic, and I was a very beginner knitter back then. So I put it away, knowing I would finish it one day.

Well that day was yesterday and I finished it today. I love the way it looks. The scarf has a nice stiffness to it and the yarn is great (Schoeller and Stahl “Limbo,” 100% superwash wool). It has a nice stretch and it is just bulky enough to make a warm scarf.

I have also started my holiday gift knitting with these socks. I bought this yarn on eBay a while back. The colors are great! Rich blues and greens.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

I missed my calling

Have you ever noticed the music at the DSW in Bailey’s Crossroads? It’s really great 80s music. It’s like the soundtrack from high school: the Jam, Cyndi Lauper, Depeche Mode, Cure, the Smiths. I must be their demographic, although 90% of their shoes I wouldn’t or couldn’t wear. I did find a pair of sneakers, though, just what I was looking for.

At lunch last week I went over to The Phillips Collection to see the Paul Klee exhibit. I have never been much of a fan of Klee's work, but now that I am a card-carrying-member of the Phillips I feel an obligation to see all of their exhibits to get my money's worth. A trip to the Phillips is always worthwhile. If you don't like the special exhibition, you can always find some great pieces wandering around. Like the two Van Gogh's I saw. Gorgeous!

I am in the middle of home-repair drama. One issue is replacing the light fixture in the kitchen. I was at the Home Despot three times last week. But I think I have it figured out. Wednesday I am making tacos and Corey’s coming over to help one last time. He’s such a dear friend, he came over late one night last week in my time of need. That &*(%$ fixture!

The other is the new fridge that is not working right. Don’t get me started.

Knitting
Believe it or not, I AM knitting. And have some stuff to share next time. I am on a roll.

Dating
Nothing to report on the match.com front.

Nothing at all.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

I blame the endorphins

In a moment of weakness, I rejoined match.com today. I so did not want to do it, but after a long walk around NW and the National Zoo this beautiful day, my endorphins were pumping and I caved.

(Or maybe it was the Flying Dog, on my empty stomach.)

There are many things I want to do, but don’t want to do them alone, so I don’t know why I am being coy about meeting new people online. Match is my old stand-by, a place I know I will meet decent men to go out with and do things.

To add to my torture, I read G’s profile which he has rewritten and is total BS. I have to give him credit, he is an excellent writer. I used to love reading his email, it was so eloquent without being gushy.

Anyway, his profile goes on and on about how 2 people can like different things but still make a connection. He is paraphrasing me! He broke up w/me because he didn’t think we had enough in common!! OMG

My stance with him was that when 2 people come together they share their interests. It is one way to get to know another person. How boring would it be to date someone who does the exact same activities as you? He was like, ‘my free time is precious and I want to do the things I want to do.’ Sheesh. What is up w/that?

I don’t have any bad feelings toward him at all. But it is still painful to see an ex back up on match.com. Repeating my sentiments.

Sniffle. I miss him. I had fun with him.

Chakra this

This weekend I took an energy medicine class at Spiral Flight yoga studio. It was about opening up the 2nd chakra. I am really curious about the chakras so I was excited to see their series of workshops on each of the 7 chakras. I got so much out of the class and felt great after.

This is my first experience in new agey stuff outside of my regular yoga class. As I expected, there were a few characters in the class. Translation: people who share WAY too much and have much looser boundaries than me.

In my 5+ years doing yoga, I have learned to avoid people who have weird energy and sit clear across the room from them. That is usually all it takes for me to block them out. But this one pair, A and L, were too freaking much. I immediately sensed her so I stayed clear and tried my best to be nonjudgmental. But I can only take so much weirdness!!

She was bossing H around as we were setting up. “Get me some mats. I need a blanket. I need a pillow. Orange if there is one.”


Ugh. L was so accommodating. And she talked to him in this loud, authoritative, do-it-now voice that was heard by everyone. It’s a tranquil, yoga studio for cripes sakes.

Her intention (we all had to make one) for the class was to create healthy boundaries, one of the many facets of the 2nd chakra. But it is such a freaking cliché. And what about her boundaries with poor, mealy-mouthed L? The irony.

And the cherry on top was that she is studying to be an energy medicine practitioner!!

Good luck with that.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Om

Have you noticed how big the toothpaste aisle has gotten? What gives.

Practically all of the toothpaste is now "whitening." It's a bunch of lies, people. My dentist told me it will not do anything to make your teeth whiter and a dental hygienist-friend of mine told me that over time, it damages the enamel on your teeth. To that end, I don't use them because they make my teeth sensitive and quite frankly, my teeth are white enough!

But what really ticks me off is that Crest doesn't make my tartar control gel anymore and my dental health is being affected. I went for my bi-annual cleaning yesterday and the hygienist was scratching away much long and harder than she ever has before. Even she commented because my cleanings are usually so easy! I swear the culprit is the toothpaste. Now I am stuck using Colgate of some kind or another.

Have you tried the new flavors? Toothpaste is supposed to me MINTY people! Not vanilla or rocky road or key lime.

Case in point. Last year I was dating this guy and once in a while I was brushing my teeth at his place. Every time I was in his bathroom, brushing, I would start gagging. At first I thought it was all the stubble in the sink, grossing me out. It took a few days for me to realize it was the vanilla-mint toothpaste.

Good thing I had my yoga class tonight to calm my nerves and get centered.

I am being tempted to get back on Match.com (G broke up w/me a few weeks back, declaring that we did not have enough in common. Whatever!).

Talk me down, people! But I have found it is the best, most consistent way to meet people.

Now the quality of the people varies, and it takes so much energy.

I think I just talked myself out of it.

Thank goodness for yoga!


oommmmm

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Don't watch the Ironman if you have PMS

Don’t watch the Ironman if you have PMS.

Or any other time of the month. It will make you cry.


Not the stories of the triatheletes who train year after year, but the stories of the regular people who are searching for something big. Like the guy I saw profiled today. He’s 34, a little younger than me, and has ALS (Lou Gerig’s disease). I marvel at people like him who are so driven. Slowly his body is stopping and someday very soon he will be dead from the disease. To know what is going to happen to your physical body must be hard to handle. Control-freak me wouldn’t handle it well. Maybe that’s why I get so emotional.

I don’t watch that home makeover show either, because every time I have watched it I become a blubbering ball of tears. It’s kind of funny, actually.


It’s not the heat…

I finally go outside today after the heat wave. I blame the media for hyping it all up.


Don’t go outside, it’s blistering!

On Friday, everyone in my office had such a long face. Cabin fever had set in.

It’s summer, in Washington, DC for cripes sakes.

Yes, reminding people not to leave their dogs and kids unattended in the car is important. But constantly reminding us all how HOT it is just makes it worse.

I fell under the spell, too. I was climbing the walls.

This morning I walked to the farm stand at the Sheridan School in NW. They (New Morning Farm I think) have such beautiful stuff. I didn’t go crazy because I have my weekly share of vegetables and flowers from my CSA. I did add to my pile of potatoes, though. I couldn’t resist the purple ones! And the gorgeous heirloom tomatoes. And the corn on the cob.

I roasted some garlic today and spread it on bread. There is nothing like fresh-picked garlic. Try it if you ever have the chance. It has a mild, smooth flavor that permeates but doesn’t over power. I have tons of it now, after getting some every week for the past month. The farmer suggested peeling it, putting in a jar, covering it with olive oil and storing in the fridge.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

And no trans fats!

I have never been a fan of flavored potato chips, until yesterday.

I was in a lunch meeting and among the choices of Kettle Chips was Spicy Thai. OMG. Dee-lish. Satisfied my PMS-induced craving for salt and they taste great. So much flavor, particularly lemon grass, and a little spice.

And no trans fats!


Knitting

Yup, still knitting, believe it or not. The body of the Ribbon X-back seemed to take forever. I think it is the seed stitch. Knit, purl, knit, purl. It takes time and patience when you realize you messed up along the way and at some point must catch up with the errant knit knit or purl purl.

Thankfully I have now started on the upper front and straps. It is nice to have to read the pattern for a change of pace.

I guess I should try this on at some point, too...



I wore ChicKami the other day for the first time. It looked great until gravity set in and the stitches in the straps started dropping causing the top to sag. Yikes. It's an easy fix, though, I have to shorten the straps by an inch or so. So it goes. Everything I make gets a little longer as I wear it and the stitches open up a little.

Christmas knitting is on my list of things to plan. Any started yet?

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Dirty under my fingernails

I spent a wonderful morning at the CSA (community supported agriculture) I have a share in this summer. Stoney Lonesome Farm is out in Gainsville, VA, about a 50 minute drive from DC. Part of having a share is volunteering some time at the farm.

Today I picked cherry tomatoes, harvested potatoes (what a kick that was), cleaned potatoes, and cleaned onions for the share-holders picking up today. And I met some really nice, down-to-Earth, normal people that I think are so hard to find in this area.

I came home sweaty, dirty, sunburned, tired, and feeling great. It was so satisfying to see all the work we did in the morning come together in just a few hours and become food for the share-holders to pick up this afternoon.

Now I will have an even greater appreciation for the farm and what goes into the beautiful vegetables, herbs, and flowers that I pick up every Thursday in Northwest.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

I'm out $3.57

Where does a girl get a good croissant in NW DC?

Used to be Firehook, in Dupont Circle. But what they called a croissant the other day is what I would call a roll. I was crushed because I used to rely on Firehook for my monthly fix.

After that $1.49 disappointment, I tried Marvelous Market today, on Conn. It sure looked like a croissant. But it was hard, chewy, and very bread-like in the center. Ugh. And this was a $2.08 disappointment!

Maybe because it's so hot right now, it's hard to keep the butter hard in the production.

And then there's the bitchy suburbanite driving the Jaguar who almost hit me because she didn't think the red light applied to her. I love yelling at drivers. It always startles them when a ped makes eye-contact and calls them out. It's very funny, try it someday.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Ready

to be grossed out?

Here starts my quarterly bashing of business travel and the airlines.


Have you noticed this new trend of people bringing their pets on board, in a carry-on, stuck under the seat infront of them? I find it pushes the limits of personal boundaries. What happens if someone in the row, or the plane for that matter, is allergic to dogs and/or cats. There is no escaping that recirculated air. I find it crosses a line.


I was on a flight many months ago with a couple who brought Fido on board. They were sitting in the exit row and the flight attendant told them, after realizing that they had a dog (why didn’t she already know!!), that they could not sit in the exit row. Made sense to me. In the event of an emergency, their attention is most likely going to be saving Fido, not their fellow passengers. They started arguing w/the flight attendant who put up w/their crap for about 20 seconds when she threatened to throw them off the plane.


I LOVE when flight attendants stand up to unruly passengers with an overblown sense of entitlement.

On Monday I was on a flight to Anaheim, Calif. I got to my aisle seat to find the woman in the middle seat fanning her crotch. Granted it was hot on the plane, but I was perplexed. A few minutes later I realize she had a dog down there when she pulled a small porcelain dish out of her seat pocket, filled it with water, and let Fido have a drink.

Ugh, this is not happening.

Then she realizes that doggy did not drink all of the water.

What does she do? We are ready to take off.

So she drinks it.

I will give you a minute to realize what you just read.

I nearly gagged. Could not believe my eyes.

OMG

And mid-flight, she did it again.

I wonder what awaits me on my way home.

Friday, June 30, 2006

A Little bit o'Progress

Knitting

I thought I would share my progress on the new Ribbon Xback.

Pretty cool so far. I like how the colors are coming together and how the orange and pink bring out the red.

I have a long car trip this weekend, to New Jersey, but I don’t know how much knitting I can do in the car. Like reading, it makes me kind of nauseous.

This in the first overnight exersion with G. I am a little nervous about it because I am not sure what we are doing other than going to see his friends. They have a boat so they will be waterskiing. I don’t water-ski and I am not really that interested in starting, but I do like boats and being on the water.

A gentle kick in the pants

I have been so apprehensive about this trip all week, but I keep seeing things that are telling me, “Just go, for cripes sakes!”


The first was a piece in the Washington Post Travel section about a 78 year-old woman who traveled to China alone.

And a feature on channel 4 about this Baby Boomer-woman who is turning 60 this year and all of the cool stuff she is doing every month of the year to celebrate.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

At long last...

At long last...

I finished ChicKami this weekend. Here she is:


This is my second ChicKami. It's an easy knit and pretty quick. And, oh yeah, it looks cute too.

Pattern: ChicKnits
Yarn: Schachenmayr "Lipomo"
Color: Dry Lavender

Have you seen this?

Good Search, check it out, and do some good.

http://goodsearch.com/

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Seahorses!

Secret Pal

I received my final Secret Pal package today. Thanks Rebecca! Check out these stitch-markers.


Sea horses! Very cool. Very summer.

Secret pal was fun. I loved getting fun packages at work.

Some Knitting Progress
Here’s the progress on
Chickami. I have finished the back, now just the rest of the front and the little straps. This yarn looks really cool. The increases and decreases add to the variety. Almost done, maybe this weekend I will finish. Gabriel will be away so I will have a little more time.

Here's a little more detail:



I found this yarn (Katia “Bonita” in Salsa) on sale at
elann.com. I love the color, very red, with some orange, pink, and yellow mixed in. I am thinking this might be the yarn for the next Ribbon X-back. I need to swatch, though, and see how I like it.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Early morning delivery

The world of business travel is such a glamorous one. Crammed into airplanes, surly airline employees, running through O’Hare because the plane left late because some idiot didn’t move the jetway away from the airplane, annual air-travelers who get in the way, lost luggage.

That has been my world the past couple of weeks. Last week it was Vegas. And I just got back from 2 ½ days in Austin, Texas. Not a bad place, really, for Texas. There are good bars and restaurants, lots of music, the bat bridge.

My bag didn’t arrive last night, but it showed up at 5:00 AM this morning! My phone rings and I see it’s the “Front Door.” Huh? Who is at the front door of my building at 5 o’clock in the morning? I usually ignore things like that, but I answered.

I have your suitcase.

Really?

Yes.

Ok, I will buzz you in.

For a split second I thought Gabriel was playing a joke on me because the voice had an accent.

Regardless, I was glad to have my bag.

I am heading back out tomorrow, but this is a fun trip. Every year my college friends get together in York Beach, Maine, for a reunion. Heather’s mom and step-father own an inn and they let us have it for cheap for the weekend. It is great fun, usually pretty chilly, a wonderful get-away.

But even this trip is not without drama.

A few weeks ago I invited Gabriel to join me. I figured things between us were going really well, he is always up for an adventure, and he has never been to Maine. He said sure, sounds like fun, and that was the end of the conversation. So a couple of weeks ago I mentioned it again because he needed to make his arrangements. He kind of balked, explaining he didn’t know what his work travel was going to be so he couldn’t make flight arrangements. He might be arriving from somewhere other than here and departing for another job somewhere else.

OK, fine, I let it go. He can make his own arrangements, but I forwarded him my itinerary on Southwest.

Fast forward to Monday night when he breaks the news that he can’t come to Maine. Something about an expensive ticket (no shit, you waited too long), not being able to charge the customer, blah blah. I was pretty upset and disappointed which for some reason surprised him (???).

For kicks I checked out a ticket prices on Southwest. It would have been $200. About $10 more than what I paid and I booked WEEKS ago. Am I missing something here? I did go to Expedia and saw that tickets on other airlines were in fact in the $600 range, which he claimed. But I can’t get past the cheap SW price. I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want him to think I was checking up on him.

But now I can’t shake my feeling that he really didn’t want to do. Which is fine. It’s the lying I don’t like.

Or maybe I am overreacting, making this all up in my head.

But I REALLY need to let it go.

We haven’t seen each other in 3 weeks because of our different travel schedules so finally tonight we are meeting. It’s kind of weird, I feel like there needs to be some reacquainting between us.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Shut up, I can't hear

Damn Wisconsin Avenue traffic. Shut up, I can’t hear the blubbering fight going on in the building next door!

I just can’t understand why.

I didn't jeopardize...

I walked out
...

Snippets, I can’t make out more than a few words the woman is saying here and there …

I am not into kinky sex

Hey, this is getting good.


Vegas Baby


I am back from a business trip to Las Vegas. It was my first time to Sin City and it was fun for about 2 days and then I was ready to come home. I gambled my $100 away on the slot machines at the Bellagio, Paris, New York, Caesar’s, Wynn, the Flamingo. I was traveling alone which made it a little boring. I can see having fun going with a crowd of fun, outgoing people. I also went to see “O,” Cirque du Soleil’s show at the Bellagio which was amazing.

I am off to Austin, Texas, on Sunday. This is an annual business trip so I have gotten to know and like Austin. I will visit the Mediterranean place on Congress and Tesoro, the import store. I will be traveling w/my friend from work so that will make it more fun. We will look for some jazz one night and she hasn’t seen the bats yet.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Swatching always pays


I received my second package yesterday from my Secret Pal. Thank you! The highlight for me is the lace-weight yarn. Something I never would have bought myself. Now what to make… She also included some manly yarn to make socks for G. ;)

I swatched the Lipomo and I don’t think I like it for the the Ribbon X-back. The pattern calls for seed stitch which doesn’t really compliment this yarn. Straight knitting or stockinette will show the colors in the yarn better. But it will make for a cute tank top for the summer so I will search for the right pattern.






I am this close to finishing the second side of the Sunrise Circle Jacket. Cool. This picture shows the left sleeve and left front. The blog is filling up with pictures of FOs. They are so nice! Click on the button to check it out.


Sunday, May 07, 2006

Inspired again


I can’t believe how off track I have become. I have let so many things slide. Like my knitting projects, the job search, keeping in touch with my friends, my blog. When my normal routine gets altered it really throws me off.


My job has been nutty over the past 6 weeks or so. But the annual meeting has come and gone so that stress and time-suck is over. And the new boy, G, has been around a lot. Not complaints there, but he is very active so knitting in front of the tube is not really an option at this point in the relationship.

I have returned to browsing my favorite one hundred or so knitting blogs, and THANK YOU. I am inspired again to get back some of my time and use it for knitting.

Elann.com had amazing yarn sales. I bought this (Schachenmayr Lipomo in dried lavender) to make another Ribbon X-Back. Here is my attempt from last summer. This v-neck will look great on any body and I remember it being a pretty quick knit.


G does appreciate my knitting hobby, however. He proposed us heading to a tennis tournament this summer in Florida. When he asked me what I thought, my only question was what is there for me to do.

"You can knit."

I died laughing, how cute is this man. But sorry, this girl can not knit for 2 and half days.



Here is a picture from the trek at Rose River in Virginia last weekend. Gorgeous place in the Shenendoah mountains.

Monday, May 01, 2006

The Hinterlands

I am back from my week-long business trip and whirlwind weekend with G out in the hinterlands (read: Ashburn).

Knitting

I brought the Sunrise Circle jacket on the business trip, fully thinking I would finish the left front on the long plane trip to the west coast and back. But no, I just wasn’t in the mood. And knowing that when I am not in the mood, I will make no progress because I will end up frogging half of what I have completed.

And I have to get my second package out to my secret pal in South Dakota. That means I will be getting something soon, too. Yay.

The Boy
I was anxious the whole week to get back home, probably because of G. Things are going really well with him.

We went hiking at the Rose River in Syria, Va., on Saturday. It was a good day, but he is much more of a dare devil than I am, jumping over rocks, swimming in the river, trying to cross the river (uh, no).

The trail wasn’t marked which was frustrating to me because I had never been there before. We wandered on and off the trail because it was hard to see. It probably gets cleared once a year, if that, and here were so many trees down. At about 4PM we completely lost the trail. The only thing that didn’t send me into a panic was that we had a few more hours of daylight. There was a horse trail up from where we were, how far we didn’t know. So up we went, through the thick woods and rocks and downed trees. Ugh. But not too much later we found the cleared trail (thank you St. Anthony!) and made our way down to the car.

It was a beautiful spot and the weather was perfect (I tried to post pics but blogger won't let me, I will try again another day). A good day all around.

Spending the weekend in the far suburbs was kind of interesting. It is so different than living in the city like the families and minivans and soccer fields. And there are new developments everywhere. I have read about it in the paper but really had no idea how extensive it is. It is all brand new.


Have You Seen This?

http://www.todolistblog.com/

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

I won! I won!



Last night I went to see Eric Hutchinson at Jammin’ Java in Vienna (Va.) and had such a great time. And I won his new CD!







Before Eric went on this guy came around with a slip of paper that read:

Dear Eric,
I had a bad week because:

So I was wracking my brain trying to come up with something witty and clever and all I could come up with was how ridiculous work has been lately. But Corey suggested the mishap I had on Saturday at the symphony.

Dear Eric,
I had a bad week because:

I took my date to the symphony on Saturday night but we were there on the wrong day.

Love, Sarah


(Yes, it’s true. But Gabriel took it in stride, we laughed, and had a fun Sat. night regardless.)

So Eric starts his set and he is so funny and a great singer. Then he comes to the part of the program where he gives away free stuff. He pulls out the bag containing everyone’s entries on their respective bad weeks, and the first one he pulls is mine! We all died laughing.

It was a fun night. The Weepies and
Tyler James also played. Tyler was great.

Now I am off to SoCal for our annual meeting. Yippee.


Wednesday, April 12, 2006

I don’t desire you carnally

The view from today

The crazies are back in Dupont Circle. And I have to admit I have kind of missed them.

I work in Dupont Circle so I often eat lunch in the park. Today was my first visit this season and boy, what a welcoming.

On my walk from the bagel place to the circle I encountered the homosexual. That’s his name, don’t be offended.

As I was walking up P Street, I heard and then saw a man ranting about something at the top of his lungs. As he approached I noticed the crayola orange and yellow hair and the Hollywood Video shirt. Before I knew it, he as on bended knee in front of me yelling

It’s not my fault I am a homosexual. I don’t desire you carnally.

at the top of his lungs

My first thought, wouldn’t this message be better served on a male? I KNOW you don’t desire me carnally.

It was funny, not threatening in any way. It’s interesting how you get a vibe off of people. Some aren’t threatening, others leave your heart pounding in your chest.

And then there is the guy (??) who see around a lot. S/he was once on my bus, harrassing this woman and her child. The bus driver kicked him off, into the welcoming arms of the secret service cop-on-a-bike who happened to be riding by (my bus rides by the VPs house). This person scares me. Even when s/he wearing blue fuzzy bunny ears like today, I avoid him/her. I am not sure of the sex of this individual. Rather androgenous.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Only in America

Knitting

I am participating in a secret pal exchange organized through the Knitters Review web site. I got my package this week! It as a very nice interruption at work which is nutty right now.

Thanks KRSP!

I had fun putting together my package for my SP. She lives in South Dakota and does not blog so I have to go on her likes and dislikes from the questionnaire. It’s fun shopping because I don’t feel guilty buying stuff for someone else like I do for myself.

I am still plugging away on the Sunrise Circle Jacket. I picked up the 70s jacket last weekend because I needed some mindless knitting while watching a movie. Sunrise has a pattern that has to be followed line by line so it’s hard to do both.

Other Entertainment

I rented “Assisted Living” which was so disappointing. I didn’t even finish watching it.

I also saw “Tsotsi” which was great (it won the Academy Award for foreign film).





Spring in D.C.

Here are some pictures from my Cherry Blossom trip to the Mall (that’s the National Mall) w/new-guy-G on Sunday. We had a marathon 8-hour first-date that started with lunch in Georgetown, walking all the way to the Capitol, and then back to Georgetown (via cab) for dinner.


It was such a beautiful day! If you have never seen the Cherry Blossoms in Washington, D.C., put it on the list of things to do in this lifetime. Pictures and words can not capture them at all. The light they produce, the color, the number of trees, it’s like a pink cloud. It is one of the highlights of living here, and I go every year.


















Don't Snip the Tip

One of the more humorous things we encountered on the "marathon" was the protesters on the lawn of the Capitol. Yes, you read that correctly. They were protesting cirumcision.

The bus driver who was waiting for his young charges to return after snapping their pictures at the Capitol couldn't believe it. "With the war going on, the healthcare crisis, phones being tapped, these people are protesting circumcision. My goodness."

Only in America.