Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Week So Far

I know there hasn't been much updating chez moi lately. That's because, mostly, there's been lots of this:

And this:

And a little bit of this:

And tonight there was this:

Which was EXCELLENT - a must see!

Tomorrow there will be this:

So things might be quiet for a few days while I drive across this:

See you in Kansas, Toto!

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Boho and Boohoo.

I just got home from a great evening. My work friend Miss J organized a "Bowl away the Tears" party for my departure at the new Lucky Strike Lanes at Del Amo Mall. I must say, the locale was downright swanky, the food was excellent and the bowling was fun. I only bowled an 89, but that's pretty darn good for me, and I had a great time doing it!

It's really starting to sink in now that I'm leaving - tonight I saw many of my friends for the last time until the wedding. Of course I'll stay in touch via email, blog and IM, but it's not quite the same.

Before the bowling party, I spent a night with my parents and my 8 year old cousin. We had some laughs, some great food and I managed to complete this cute knit. The pattern is the Boho Beret designed by Shannita Williams-Alleyne (co-owner of my favorite LYS), which was recently featured in the LA Times and on the Trendsetter Yarns website. Tres jolie, n'est-ce pas?

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

I'm ready for my close up now Mr. DeMille

Otherwise known as PHOTOGRAPHER DAY. I got up bright and early and once again met mom, this time for a little journey to the photographer's studio to contemplate wedding packages (for those interested Harry Bellows). After a bit of chit-chat we placed our deposit and went merrily on our way. I love knowing the photographer in advance - he has shot several events we have been a part of and did the awesome family photos for my Dad's 60th including our engagement photo.

After the meeting, my mom and I went shopping a bit for some linens for her new dining room table. I was shocked - we went to 2 department stores and the linens section in each was barren. All that was there were some overdone ugly tablecloths that would be hard to look at while eating. What happened to beautiful tablecloths and cloth napkins?

Since our shopping wasn't much of a success, we decide to break for lunch. Then Mom had some appointments to get to so I headed home. I managed to get most of my errands done and even get in a little nap and a chat with my honey before heading over to the LYS for Bad Girls Knitting night - think wine and knitting! I'm turning the heels on my socks right now, and I'm almost done with the first mitten.

The rest of the weekend is busy: meeting with the judge who is marrying us tomorrow, a bit more knitting, staying with my family (and my 8 yo cousin who is crashing at my parents this weekend), and then a bowling party Sunday night. It's really starting to sink in that I'm leaving here soon - Monday is the last packing day, Tuesday is a collection of last appointments and Wednesday the moving van comes (eek!). By this time next week I'll be somewhere between here and Kansas. Scary and exciting all at once!

ETA - My quote of the day:

"Unemployment would be fun if I didn't have so much shit to do."

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Let them eat cake.

Otherwise known as CAKE FOR BREAKFAST day.

I met my mom at 10am this morning at a cake studio in Sherman Oaks (Layers for those who are interested) to do a little cake tasting and choosing. We got to sample 7 DELICIOUS cakes (well ok I only tried 6, because the 7th was banana and I don't eat banana flavored cakes/pies/cookies/candy/etc.) The shop smelled like a sugary heaven. We got to look at books and books of cake, discuss the merits of butter cream versus fondant, and ultimately, to design my wedding cake. I don't want to spill all the details but it's going to be simple and elegant with a splash of color and fun. One more thing off the to-do list!

P.S. That's not a picture of my cake... just one that I liked.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

What we have here is a hat.

Up next... mittens.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Babies in handknits!

Auntie Fluffy just can't get enough of little Melody in handknits! And look at those beautiful blue eyes!

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Monday, January 21, 2008

The needles

Since I began my life of leisure (and truthfully most of last week) I have been knitting quite a bit. Part of it is a desire to wrap up old projects, and part of it is that I'm done for the most part with commissions and I'm working on a variety of projects for myself now!

I did drag up and oldie/moldie to finish it this week. I think I put it aside originally because it didn't turn out quite as shapely as I had hoped. I actually finished up 80% of it by September/October last year, and it just needed sleeves. Today I buckled down and finished it. I had originally hoped that this might be a cute dress, but I think I like it better as a tunic over jeans. What do you think?

My other finished object is a great scarf for the cold weather. I made it with two skeins of Misti Alpaca Hand-Dyed Chunky. The color isn't as vibrant in this photo as in real life, but I really like it.

Finally I have a few other things on the needles. On the left, a hat to go with the scarf - a simple cable pattern. On the right are the Nutkin socks. I love the way the pattern looks like leaves in the jade green Koigu.

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Fridgeline: January 21, 2008

I recently wrote about the dilemma of being a woman living alone and trying to sell items via Craiglist. I might add that these days it seems the only people who buy items off of Craigslist are of the frosted flake variety. Approximately 2 weeks ago I put my fridge up for sale on Craiglist. I immediately got bombarded with emails. About half of those wanted to buy it at the price I listed, and the other half offered to take it off my hands for $100. I started making appointments with those who wanted to buy it at list price. After getting stood up not once, but TWICE (and having Knitmeister S sit with me one afternoon) I decided to give up on my dream price and let one of the cheaper guys have it. I had a nice email correspondence with one who said he'd show up this morning. And then he stood me up. GRRRR...

Luckily I had saved the emails from others. I started a flurry of correspondence and once gentleman offered to come by this afternoon. I was skeptical, but decided to give it one more try before I called Salvation Army and begged them to take it away. About 10 minutes ago my phone rang and a nice landlord was outside, ready to take my fridge away for his apartment complex. A crisp $100 bill later, and I now have a distinct lack of fridge in my apartment. Thanks heavens! Happy trails to you old buddy.

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Let it Rock.

Last night we all gathered at Blenda's house to party a bit before I leave. Everyone came out in full force. The cooking was AMAZING. Blenda from Oz made sausage rolls, risotto balls, zucchini quiche, and veggie wraps. Blogless Will made his cooking debut with bacon wrapped dates and walnuts - I can't believe he's been hiding his talents on us. Knitmeister S made appetizers and some tasty cookies. Some had really sweet messages:

Others did not:

I warned Knitmeister S that if the FU cookie made me sick, I would return his hostility a la the black and white cookie.

Johnny Cache livened up the party by bringing his brand new Rock Band. After my disastrous turn at Guitar Hero this was definitely up my alley. We formed a mean rock band, Let it Rock.

Our band featured the stylings of Todd (on left) on bass and Betty White on guitar:

Mr. Pants2tite on drums:

And Raven on vocals:

Many thanks to Blenda for being our groupie and taking lots of pics!

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Friday, January 18, 2008

The end.

I am now officially a lady of leisure. Yes, this means I will recline on my couch all day and eat bonbons. Except that the fridge is disappearing on Monday so the bonbons may get melty. Oh and the fact that I need to pack the whole place up by the 30th. But I won't panic...YET.

Today was my last day of work! It was a fitting end to the job - they muffed up my final paycheck so I actually have to go back for it next week. That said, I ended the job in traditional fashion: at SUSHI!

For the past year or so, a group of my friends and I head over to a great little restaurant in Culver City, Irori, every Friday for lunch. It has quickly become our "Cheers" where the entire staff knows my name. It has great food and it's like a second home to us. So my final day involved plum wine, teriyaki, tempura and all but one of my good work friends. We commemorated the occasion with photographic evidence.

My bunny ears courtesy of Isis, our favorite waitress!

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

The movies.

In the past week I have seen 3 great movies that I'd like to share with you.

1. Lars and the Real Girl - This is the best movie I've seen in the theatre in a long time. We went and saw it at a second run theatre for $3 (can you beat that?!?) and I was really touched. I wasn't sure when I saw the previews whether a movie about a boy and a blow-up doll would really be to my liking, but it was so witty, funny and endearing - I just loved it. If you haven't seen it, you should! Ryan Gosling and and Emily Mortimer are excellent!

2. Waitress - When this was in the theatres, Knitmeister S. tried to get me to go see it with him. Somehow the plans fell through, but I remembered that it had gotten good press so I Netflixed it last weekend. The story is simple - Keri Russell is a pie maker who is trapped in a loveless marriage and suddenly finds herself pregnant, much to her dismay. The story was sad, but the ending was hopeful. Keri Russell was really good, as was Nathan Fillion, who played her physician. Again, I would definitely recommend this one!

3. My Lovely Sam-Soon - This was a Korean mini-series (if you can count 16 hours as a mini-series) that I tore through this week. I borrowed it from a co-worker after hearing great things about it from everyone I work with. For the most part, I wasn't disappointed. Sure it got a little melodramatic in parts, but overall it was a sweet, if not slightly crazy, story about a baker and her boss as they fall in love. It does have subtitles, and requires a bit of a time commitment, but it was worth it.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

For Belinda

This past May my friend Belinda (yes that would be Blenda from Oz) informed me that her grandmother was very ill. Belinda is a postdoc, who is researching here for several years, away from her home country of, you guessed it, Australia. When I saw how hard it was for her to be so far away from her grandmother during this time, I didn't know what to do. So I started knitting.

All summer I knit what I hoped would be a beautiful comfortghan for her. I picked different patterns and different colors in hopes of making a patchwork afghan that would keep her warm and cozy. All summer I knit. Then the fall came and still I knit. And for the life of me I couldn't figure out why it wasn't getting any bigger. Every time I measured I was stuck at 3 feet. I began to dread the knitting. The project I had started so lovingly had turned into a SLOG.

In October I realized something. If I dreaded working on the project, why would I be giving it to my dear friend? If I didn't like it, I should start on something I really loved. It was empowering. So I began to bind off. And I bound off. And still I bound off. That's when I realized what I had done.

The "width" of the blanket turned out to be a whopping 6 feet. The "length" turned out to be 3 feet. I was knitting it in the wrong direction and it was so slow-going because every time I knit a row it was 6 feet long. And what was worse, those different patterns and colors that I had come to dread so much actually looked cute. Oh the folly!


I started again. This time I opted for one color, a beautiful raspberry, and a simple, but classic lace stitch, Feather and Fan. And I loved knitting it.

I have only known Belinda for a year now, and in that time she has become one of my closest friends. I'm so happy that I got to know her while I was here, and she's one of the people that I will miss the most when I leave. I hope that this blanket brings her some comfort, and will keep her warm and cozy for years to come.


Monday, January 14, 2008


It is with great pleasure that I announce the debut of my li'l sis (and perhaps my old bathrobe) on Youtube. Enjoy!


Happiness is...

Logging into "The Knot" and seeing that there are only 208 days until my wedding!


The Last Week

I have now officially begun my last week at work. While Saturday night was incredibly bittersweet for me, I don't think this week will be as bad. Although I love some of the people I work with, I don't think I'll be missing this job too much. It is just time for me to m move on, and I'm ready.

That said, everyone looks at me strangely each time I start packing up my personal nicknacks or head over to the shredder (no this isn't Enron - I'm not shredding anything that would be useful to anyone). I'm just finding that after 3 years in a job, you accumulate a lot of JUNK.

So my day today is mostly filled with phone calls, interviews and wrap-ups. As a side note, despite the fact that I quit 6 weeks ago and handed them a catalog of all of my duties at the time I resigned, only today have they realized I'm going to be gone come Friday. The shit, my friends, has hit the fan.


Sunday, January 13, 2008


As I drove home tonight, I felt hollow and on the verge of tears. It was a great evening, and yet it made me sad.


I started today as I do many Saturdays: I slept in late. I got up around noon, showered and headed out for errands and a trip to my favorite Saturday haunt, the yarn store. After a stop at Goodwill (where I unloaded 7 bags of crap - and my place looks no better!), I headed over to the yarn store for some knitting therapy. I stayed there until five-thirty or so when I started the carpool to Burbank.

"It's my party and I'll drive if I want to."

I picked up Knitmeister S and one of my other workmates, and we headed out to my friends Mr. & Mrs. B, who were throwing me a going away party - game night. The food was amazing as usual and the party was that much more festive when Mr. and Mrs. B announced they're expecting! We played games, laughed harder than I've laughed in a while and had a great time. And all the while I couldn't help but think that I won't see all these people in the same place again (except perhaps at my wedding). It was just such a hollow feeling, having fun and yet knowing that I'm leaving.

I am so excited to begin my life with Wes. I am even looking forward to exploring a new city, find a job about which I'm passionate, and finding new knitting stores to haunt. And yet it is so bittersweet to have to say goodbye to all my friends and favorite haunts here. In my heart I know I will find friends and places to hang out, but it's almost as if I'm breaking up with my life here - I just don't want to think that there are more fish in the sea, I want these fish to stay.

And so tonight, while a blast, was bittersweet.

Of course, all this celebrating isn't doing a thing for my no soda and dessert diet either.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

The Partly Cloudy Patriot

After I enjoyed Sarah Vowell's Assassination Vacation so much, I passed it on to my friend Knitmeister S who also enjoyed it greatly. This afternoon I walked into his office and he told me that he had just received another of Sarah Vowell's books, The Partly Cloudy Patriot. I ooohed and aaahed until he let me borrow it, and then proceeded to commit the embarrassingly nerdy act of reading it all in one afternoon while I was supposed to be working. In deference to him, I'm not going to post spoilers, but just say that it was an excellent read. If you enjoy Sarah's sarcastic look at American history, you'll enjoy this! I do believe my favorite line of the book is this:

"American history is a quagmire, and the more one knows, the quaggier the mire gets."


Damn straight.

Guess which part-time MBA program got voted #3 in the nation by Business Week?

Yes Mom & Dad that is UCLA in #1.


Geocaching gone wrong.

My friend and coworker (who is Dutch) forwarded me this link. Obviously I didn't get much from it (and neither will you unless you speak Dutch).

The story is this: Over the holiday a farmer in the Netherlands saw a bunch of people suspiciously walking around an area. After they were gone he went to see what was there, and found an ammo can (marked "munitions"). He immediately called the police, who sent in the bomb squad, and the bomb squad blew up the can. The punch line is that the ammo can was, of course, not a bomb but a cache. Guess we can mark that one off the list!

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

It comes but once a year....

And today is delurking day. You know what to do!

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Uses for junk mail and leftover Christmas packaging #167

Packing materials for the great move of 2008.


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

It's a thin line between independence and stupidity.

I have, my friends, a dilemma. The new apartment Wes and I are moving into has a brand new fridge in it, and no spare room/garage for me to store the current fridge that I own. So I am selling my fridge. I have tried to sell it at work, and no one has been interested, so this evening I listed it for sale on Craigslist. Here's the dilemma.

I am a single female who lives by myself in a big city. I consider myself independent, and I try not to rely on others unnecessarily. I do, however, recognize that by living in a big city alone I should be aware of the dangers out there, and pay attention to my safety. So the dilemma: if I want to sell the fridge I have to let people come see it, but I'm wary of inviting strangers into my home (even if it won't be my home much longer) to see it.

As a solution, I plan on asking some of my guy friends if they're around and would be willing to happen to be at my apartment when people come to look. But I can't help enjoying that this is the last time I will face this particular dilemma.


Good fortune.

"Your golden opportunity is coming very soon."


Monday, January 07, 2008

The Movies

A while ago I promised a review of the movies I'd seen over break. So here's a rundown for you:

  • Winner of The Most Anticipated and Equally the Most Disappointing Movie of the Holidays Season award is The Golden Compass. I loved this book, no wait I LOVED this book. And I was so disappointed by the movie that Wes and I could have walked out. Not only did they stray from the book on major plot points, they changed even the smallest details even when using the details from the book would have taken less time to explain. To a non-reader, the movie was really complex and confusing. To a reader, events were out of order or missing entirely and motivations were altered or re-made. I will say that Nicole Kidman and Dakota Blue Richards were excellent - they really brought the characters that I had imagined to life. But as a whole, I found it disappointing.
  • Winner of The Greatest Swashbuckling Adventure this holiday season was Pirates of the Carribean: At World's End. The third of this trilogy was a rollicking good time and a great adventure matey, ARRRRR.... Johnny Depp was fabulous, the effects were, as always, excellent and the plot was interesting.
  • Winner of "It's fun but ... eh...." award was BBC's Robin Hood: Season 1. Wes points out this may have been because we watched the 4 discs almost back to back and the schtick got a little old. However, Jonas Armstrong (Robin) and Lucy Griffiths (Marian) were excellent and I enjoyed the adventures. I'm not sure that I'm in for season 2, or 3 (which is in production now), but it was entertaining, particularly during those long hours in the car and the night the snow stranded us in a hotel.
  • Winner of the "Most fun at the movies over the holidays is National Treasure 2. I don't know how many more of these they can do, but I have really enjoyed the first two. Sure, they're not epic movies, but they are just an old fashioned good time. Of special highlight were the scenes between Helen Mirren (whom I love!) and Jon Voight.

Technically I have one more movie, Ocean's Thirteen but I might have fallen asleep in the middle of it last night when I got home from Kansas, and thus I might need to re-watch a bit before I review.

What did you see over the holidays? Anything good I've missed?


Saturday, January 05, 2008

A bit of geocaching, sightseeing and barns we have known.

Today dawned bright and sunny, and unseasonably warm here in Kansas. By the time it was almost 50 degrees, Wes and I decided we needed to spend some time outdoors (this is, of course, before it snows again on Monday). So we set out for a little geocaching.

We started out at Wildcat Creek Park, looking for a little walk and a geocache. We spent a lot of time walking down snowy and slushy paths in the warm sunshine and just enjoying the outdoors. After about a third of a mile we reached our destination and found a geocache. We took a little souvenir and left a toy helicopter for other people to find.

Sadly, we couldn't do our second intended cache because we had to cross the creek and it was just a bit too full of melting snow and icy water. So we headed out to Rocky Ford to check out a virtual cache and the ford itself. This area was once used by the pioneers and the ford operated a grist (flour) mill. Now the ford's power is harnessed by the Rocky Ford Power company and serves as an area for local fishermen.

Finally, I'm adding here a little collage of abandoned barns, structures and sights we've seen this season either driving back and forth to Virginia or out on our caching trip today. All photos were taken by Wes or myself. Enjoy!

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A new sweater.

I knew when I set out for Kansas this holiday season that I'd have plenty of time for knitting. I knew this because the plan was to DRIVE to and from Virginia. So I came armed with lots of yarn and projects and was ready to knit my way through the holidays.

My first finished object of 2008 is a great sweater! I call this my New Zealand sweater, because the wool was shipped to me as a souvenir of my parents' vacation there a year or so ago. It's been sitting in my stash since then, awaiting the right pattern and timing.

I stuck to a simple pattern, as I was unsure about the yardage and how the sweater would knit up. I used the LYS's trusty sweater design program to set up a basic top down cardigan, and figured I'd improvise from there. I knit the yoke, then the sleeves, and then decided to continue down the body until I ran out of yarn. Which was going great until I figured out I had a LOT of yarn. Never fear - add a hood! At this point I have bits and pieces of 3 skeins left - probably altogether about 3/4 of a skein total. I may add pockets but I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out.

Also - I'm in LOVE with the buttons. Those were procured here in Manhattan, KS at Wildflower - a yarn store I could spend a lot of time in if I lived here.

The specs:

Pattern: My own.
The Yarn: Astra Crucci Boucle, 5.25 skeins
The Needles: US9


Christmas Pictures

I finally got my pictures downloaded to Wes' laptop so that I could post a few Christmas pictures, and a couple other posts covering what we've been up to these days.

Christmas morning didn't dawn as early as I thought it might, but the kids were excited and Santa brought them quite the haul. My nephew got a brand new bike - his first with training wheels! It took him a bit of getting used to the pedals but soon he was trolling around the cul-de-sac!

After all the presents were open, it was time to get ready to eat. While the food was being cooked, Uncle Wes got quite the workout.

Of course, two days after Christmas we did the final gift - a photo session for everyone. We all dressed up, headed over to the portrait studios and a little while later we were done!

Then someone delighted us with "reading" Sponge Bob stories all the way home.