Monday, March 26, 2007

all over the place

Well, this past weekend was a lot of fun, although pretty nonstop. It was difficult having a houseguest and trying to balance spending a lot of time with my sisters (one of whom was visiting), not to mention other commitments I had made, but I think I worked it out pretty well. I won't go into a lot of detail, but suffice it to say that Sarah, Bethany, and I baked cupcakes

(here is a picture of Dan, Rodrigo, and myself; 2/3 of that group wasn't involved in the baking, but as they had been doing a bit of drinking, they thought a photo that made them look like they were hard at work in the kitchen would be amusing); I attended a rally to mark (and protest) the 4th anniversary of the Iraq War

(the cupcakes were for a bake sale to raise money for the Code Pink house in D.C.!); my sisters & I worked briefly at the Prison Book Program, stopped for cupcakes at Sweet Tooth, wandered around Chinatown, and played SceneIt!; I hung out a bit more with Rodrigo before he left to head back to Austin; my family attended my cousin's fiancee's bridal shower in CT, and then we spent several nice hours at Borders (where I purchased more books I don't need!), all in the span of 48 hours. It was so great to see my family (and especially to hang out with both of my sisters so much!), but that was definitely a lot to squeeze in.

So yeah. This week is definitely going to be a quiet one; I'm making sure of that. And on through the weekend, I hope. Especially because the following several weekends will also be busy with travel (Easter, a visit to NYC, and Coachella/the cousin's wedding are all in April). I have been super stressed out by a lot of stuff, and I am scared to see myself taking a lot of it out on others, most especially Dan. I hope that this week will help me calm my errant emotions.

I'm still knitting, but of course yet another thing I am working on is a surprise that I can't post. I will have to get more done on my cardigan (I've got the back and about half of a sleeve done) so that I can actually post pictures of something!

I guess I don't have much else to say. I thought there was something else, but for the moment it's slipped my mind. Sorry! I guess I've had too many things to think about...xo

Currently Reading:

TITLE: The Blind Assassin (audiobook)
AUTHOR: Margaret Atwood

TITLE: We Don't Need Another Wave
AUTHOR: Melody Berger

Friday, March 23, 2007

hooray for Friday!

I just wanted to stop in & say hello. Things have been unbelievably busy here recently: I've decided to take a new job at a company in Newton, which will start June 18 (this decision was the cause of a lot of stress over the past several weeks); we've had a houseguest visiting from Austin (with 2 more couch-crashers expected for tonight -- where will we fit everyone?!); and I've got my sister visiting for a conference (the 3 sisters volunteered together yesterday morning at the WLP, and then Sarah & I had a lovely gelato lunch, hehe). Last weekend I cooked a St. Patrick's Day corned beef and on Sunday got to see my old Vassar housemates, which was a total blast. Monday, Bethany & I volunteered at a WLP Art Show/fundraiser. Tonight, the 3 sisters bake pink-frosted cupcakes. Tomorrow, we've got a full day planned, and then on Sunday, we go to CT for a few hours to attend my cousin's fiancee's bridal shower, then hop a bus back up to Boston.

Can you tell that I'm feeling a bit frazzled? Yeah.

I will definitely update further about this weekend, and I don't have a lot planned for next week (thank goodness) so hopefully things will slow down a bit (and I'll manage to get some sleep!). I can't say I haven't been enjoying the busy days, but I could use a break, especially since I'm working especially hard at work these days, as well.

Phew. I need a nap. Too bad it's only 9 o'clock. xoxo

Currently Reading:

TITLE: The Secret Life of Bees
AUTHOR: Sue Monk Kidd

TITLE: The Blind Assassin (audiobook)
AUTHOR: Margaret Atwood

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

take 3

This has kind of devolved into being solely a knitting blog for the time being, I am sorry about that! I will post more once life has calmed down a bit, I am sure.

For now, just wanted to show off the third Odessa, this one knit for Bethany (a very late Valentine's Day gift!). I presented it to her last night after we volunteered at an art show at the WLP; we didn't get to help out too much, but we did eat a lot of delicious food & got to hang out with all the fun people there. In any case, I had entirely forgotten to take a picture of the finished product (too much swimming around in my brain these days), but Bethany graciously allowed me to snap one with my long-forgotten camera phone on the T ride home:

pattern: Odessa
yarn: Rowan Cashsoft DK in Lime (509)

It's kind of hard to tell, but there is beading on that, just like on the white one I last posted about. I got the K3P2 right this time, but I decided to stick with the "mistake" of doing 2 rows between beading instead of 3; I prefer more beads on the hat. (I should add for anyone who is interested in knitting 2 rows between beading that I did not have to string on any more than the suggested 150 beads.)

Okay, I have to go take a shower & then get lots of work done today. I don't know when I'll get a chance to post again; maybe I will this weekend, after my sister Sarah has come up to visit! xo

Currently Reading:

TITLE: The Secret Life of Bees
AUTHOR: Sue Monk Kidd

TITLE: The Blind Assassin (audiobook)
AUTHOR: Margaret Atwood

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

once more, with feeling

Lots going on here in my life, but at least in the knitting world I've got something to share -- due to travel over the weekend, I had to put the cardigan on hold, but I was able to churn out the second of 3 Odessa hats I have plans to make:

Pattern: Odessa
Yarn: RYC Cashsoft DK in Cream (500)

I made some errors because I wasn't paying too much attention to the pattern; I did a K2P2 ribbing instead of a K3P2, which clearly messed up one of the neat intended effects of the ribbing/swirls, but I actually liked the way it turned out, and it was way too late for me to go back by the time I realized the mistake. Also, I was beading every 2 rows instead of every 3 (clearly, I've got some issues with preferring the number 2 over 3!), but that worked out really well, in the end. Only one row in the decreases had to be changed, and I kind of like the effect that more beads had on the resulting hat.

I'm sure I'll update on other stuff soon, but for now, that's all I feel like blogging about. Thanks for understanding. Ciao! xo

Currently Reading:

TITLE: The Secret Life of Bees
AUTHOR: Sue Monk Kidd

TITLE: Everybody Into the Pool
AUTHOR: Beth Lisick

Thursday, March 08, 2007

pretty pretty

Check out this cool picture I snapped earlier, of the orchids Dan gave me (they've really flourished so far!) reflecting against the windowpane:


$1.50 KAL

So I've joined my first knitalong, and I made my first post this morning, which I will cross-post here:
Sorry for the blurry picture, but I just wanted to share my progress:

I have been enjoying the project so far, although clearly I'm not very far along. The lace is an interesting pattern, and very easy to get into the rhythm of. I do find the yarn (Reynolds Soft Linen) to be kind of roughly natural (very fine strands sometimes splice off, if that makes any sense), but it is made of 53% flax, so I suppose that makes some sense. That doesn't make it any less enjoyable to work with. Once you get used to the splitting it sometimes does.

I am using rather short straight needles (where the pattern calls for circulars), but except for that it's more difficult to see the pattern as it hangs, it's not been a problem for me thus far. I was just too eager to wait to get around to purchasing longer ones!

Anyway, thanks for letting me join in on the KAL! I look forward to learning from all of you as I work through this.

I realize that my pictures look nothing like anyone else's there, but oh well. I do like how mine is turning out so far, even if it is wrong! =\

Currently Reading:

TITLE: Me & Emma
AUTHOR: Elizabeth Flock

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

as god is my witness

TITLE: Gone With the Wind
AUTHOR: Margaret Mitchell

I thought this book would take me months to finish, but it was such an engaging tour de force of a book that I just couldn't put it down! I was shocked by how quickly it went, for such a large undertaking. I really enjoyed the story that Ms. Mitchell had to tell, and she certainly made me much more sympathetic to the plight of the Old Southern way of life that the Civil War destroyed. I've always found it fascinating to become more intimately acquainted with both sides of a situation, and I feel like I have heard the story of the Union so often in the history books. I'm not saying I disagree with the outcome of the war, but I do believe it was such a shame that so much blood had to be shed. Who knows if there ever could have been a more peaceful resolution to the conflict; perhaps not. But it certainly was sad to see how peoples' lives were changed so dramatically -- both in the North, and in the South. And of course the slaves' lives changed, and I certainly do believe that not considering a human being a piece of property is a much better way to live! But what I found so interesting in the book was that many of the slaves stayed loyal to their "masters" well after they were "freed" -- probably because they didn't know any other way. But they continued to look down on those former slaves who chose the free lifestyle after the declaration of their independence.

I also found it pretty disheartening to hear how thoroughly most Southerners hated the Yankees, although I suppose it only makes sense because I've seen the Southerners called the bad guys all my life. Relative to the Civil War, that is. It's a shame that some people still can't look past the outcome of an event that took place ... 147 years ago. Come to think of it, that's not really all that long ago at all! Wow. I have always had a hard time grasping history; putting it in that light really makes you realize how short a time it's been since most anything.

Anyway, I am sorry; I digress! Back to the book. Well, I certainly liked the Rhett & Scarlett characters, even though it should have been very difficult to sympathize with either: they were selfish and racist, and Scarlett is elitist and cunning and just not a very good person! She is always only looking out for herself, which is part of what makes her such a strong heroine. But to hear her talk of poor whites and her issues with freed slaves and things like miscegenation; when I hear those things, I want to dislike her. And I do, for that aspect of her personality; what I would consider her ignorance. But she also survives so many very difficult times and supports herself through what wiles she has, so I have to grudgingly respect her, too. But the two characters I want to see together & happy, they can be so cruel in both words & actions towards so many people. I do respect that they are only looking out for themselves, but then again, they lose a little bit of my regard for them in that. I find it so hard to tolerate their pompous airs, even though Ms. Mitchell does explain where they come from very well.

I am writing this review now because I just finished watching the movie of the book, and I have to say, I was quite impressed! It really managed to adhere to the book's plot line, and when it didn't or couldn't, I was so impressed by how the screenplay writers manipulated the work to stay as true as possible to the idea without having to sacrifice much. They really worked it out well. And the acting was very well done, although I have to say I don't find either of the leading men all that handsome (although Clark Gable did have his moments). Viven Leigh and Olivia de Havilland were beautiful, though.

Also, I did learn that my indignation over the 1.37:1 version (versus widescreen) that I was watching was totally unjustified, however; apparently, that is the film ratio that they shot in when the movie was made, and therefore I was not missing out on a thing!

I'll leave you with this little mysterious gem, spoken by a bitter Rhett Butler: "Thanks for the crumbs from your table, Mrs. Dives."


*undisclosed finished object

Yup, that means I've finished another item that I cannot share! Oh, well. Just rest assured that it is awesome. :)

In much better news, though, look what arrived in the mail yesterday:

Eleven skeins of Reynolds Soft Linen (thanks to Dad); enough to make that Dollar and a Half cardigan! I (clearly) can't wait.

The yarn is a bit splitty so far, but otherwise great to work with. We'll see how things go! xoxo

Currently Reading:

TITLE: Me & Emma
AUTHOR: Elizabeth Flock

Monday, March 05, 2007

i was there

I'm looking at last week in my planner, trying to figure out where it disappeared to. I have all of these things I was supposed to do written down, but most of my plans fell through, for one reason or another. I ended up being at home quite a few evenings last week. Monday of course was the very delicious Melting Pot in Framingham, with Karen, Sarah K, and Adam. Definitely worth a visit, at least once.

Thursday I attended a free workshop on nonprofit incorporation, put on by a lawyer's association at the BPL. I learned a lot in the 2 hours, and I was surprised how they flew by! It's been quite a while since I've been in a classroom setting, but I do vividly remember always half-wanting to fall asleep quite often. Luckily, that wasn't the case the other night! The presenters were great: very knowledgeable, helpful, and straightforward, especially when it came down to the more complicated legal ins & outs. I don't quite know when I'll need to apply this information (initially we thought it would help with Code Pink Boston, but I think we've decided against that), but it's certainly a good thing to know the basics of.

Friday night, I attended an opening for Bethany's friend from her RISD summer program, with her & Kevin. There was also an open studios going on, so we wandered around there for a bit. There are some great artists at work out there; I made one small purchase, even! (Can't disclose at the moment, though....) Then we headed back to the North End, where Dan joined us for a lovely (and delicious) dinner at Billy Tse's.

I went to bed pretty early because I had to get up at 6 the next morning, to do a 7-9 shift at the Women's Lunch Place. I had a great time -- luckily, Gina was running the kitchen -- and was energetic enough afterwards to walk over to Shaw's and do a bit of grocery shopping. It's lovely how quiet the supermarket (and the city in general) is at that hour on a Saturday! The weather was so pleasant, I found myself needing to strip down to my tank top during the walk home.

I spent the rest of the day rather lazily, just doing my usual lay-low activities, and then around 6 o'clock I headed out to the Avalon to meet up with my friend Nikki, to see a Jonny Lang concert. Now, I had never heard of the guy before she invited me (she ended up with an extra ticket & wanted company at the show), and it's not really my kind of music, but I had a pretty good time. The beer helped, because man were some of those people (young and old) stuffy!! They just stood stock still, or else bobbed their heads awkwardly & out of time with the music. Oy. So we amused ourselves by dancing a bit, and whispering comments to each other about our dorky-but-amusing neighbors.

Since the show let out before 10 (!!!), we decided to stop for a bite to eat at the Chili's in Copley Place, where we spent some time catching up and talking about our proclivities towards solitude and supportive relationships (both taken separately, and together, if you can understand that). We found that we think very similarly in a lot of regards, which is probably why we gravitated towards each other in the first place. (I only met her a few months ago, at a meeting of our book club; she just recently moved up here from Georgia.)

I was getting tired as I went home, but I got enough of a second wind to watch Babel with Dan when I got home. Good movie! Not quite what I was expecting, but I did really like the message of it, and some of the acting was really superb.

Sunday was another quiet day at home, but around late afternoon I was struck by the cleaning bug, and managed to tidy up most of the kitchen and -- a daunting task -- all of Dan's clothes that were in a big pile on the floor of the bedroom. I am really trying to find something that will work with that boy, because he isn't the neatest person in the world. My hope is that we can hit upon something that will be a good compromise for both of us. Is that really too much to hope for...? (Probably, but I'll keep trying, at least for now.)

Well, tonight Bethany & I are volunteering at a dinner being held for International Women's Day, which is coming up on March 8. It is supposedly a fundraiser for the WLP, although we know nothing more about it than where we are supposed to be tonight, and when. Maybe I'll fill you in a bit more tomorrow! xoxo

Currently Reading:

TITLE: Me & Emma
AUTHOR: Elizabeth Flock