Sunday, June 29, 2008

Nothing says summer like potato salad.

What do you do when you have about a dozen red and small russet potatoes and a lot of fresh dill? Why make potato salad of course!

This weekend I experimented with what I had in the kitchen and whipped up some potato salad from scratch. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture of it (the one above is borrowed) but it was extra special tasty!

I started with boiling about half a dozen red potatoes and half a dozen small russets. I also threw an egg in the water to boil as well. (next time I think I would use two, but I only had one in the fridge!) After they had boiled for approximately 30 minutes and the potatoes were fork tender, I put everything in a ceramic bowl in the fridge to cool for an hour.

After an hour I pulled everything out of the fridge and started assembling. I cubed the potatoes, smashed the yoke of the hard-boiled egg, and diced the white part. Then I chopped several stalks of celery and got a few small handfuls of fresh dill. I added a few teaspoons of Dijon mustard, several tablespoons of Miracle Whip (sorry for the lack of measurements - I was going by taste and look!), and finally a sprinkle of garlic salt and pepper. Then the whole thing went back into the fridge for another hour or two.

It was delicious - even more so today as the dill had time to infuse the leftovers! Enjoy!


Friday, June 27, 2008

I can relax now.

I'm not getting married naked.

A few people might be there.

There will be pictures to share afterward.

That is all now. Thank you.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

A tribute to my own personal hero.

Since moving to Kansas City, I have met some wonderful people. One of the first to welcome me here was my dear friend PlazaJen. Now Miss Jen has many redeeming qualities - we enjoy a rollicking good time together with knitting, liquor and tasty desserts frequently! But one of her most endearing traits (at least to me) is that she gets all twitchy at the improper use of grammar and unchecked typographical errors. As an armchair grammarian myself (as opposed to those professional copy editors and advertising experts I know), this delights me to no end.

The grammar and typographical discussion reared it's ugly head a few weeks ago when Miss Jen spotted this billboard. Not only did she take a picture of the board and post it, she picked up the phone and called the company to report it!

Lo and behold, she had reason to get twitchy just a few days later. And this time she even KNEW someone over in the marketing department. He was grateful to learn of the error and noted that it was both corporate and in national release and that he'd be passing it on to the corporate officers.

See? She's correcting the world... one error at a time!

P.S. If you want to see how stupid people can be, join the "This is Broken" group at Flickr. Just make sure to take your twitch medication before you do it.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

When Find/Replace Bites You in the Ass

Since Monday I have been working at a new temp job. Normally I don't share too much about the jobs I take on, just in case someone happens to stumble across my little corner, but this job is pretty cool. I happen to be working for AMC World Headquarters for the next few weeks, in downtown Kansas City. Though the commute does leave a bit to be desired, the downtown area doesn't. We're in one of the highrises right near the river, and our building adjoins the Kansas City Public Library, where I can go on my lunch hour to read and enjoy!

The people so far have been very nice and the accomodations are really top notch. As I write this I'm sitting in a corner cubicle, with a sliver of a window, looking out from the 14th floor at the blue sky and the neighboring highrises. They've set me up at my own desk, with a dedicated computer and given me run of any number of spreadsheets and applications. Today I've been a super-sleuth, getting all geekily excited about using Excel (both my skills gained in grad school, and new ones they're teaching me). And you can't beat the perks - soda fountains and popcorn machines on every floor!

The title of the entry actually refers not to something I did, but to something one of my supervisors did. The work I'm doing today is with spreadsheets of employees, using SSN's as identifiers. Well let's just say that the boss did a bit of a find/replace that rendered about 300 SSN's utterly useless. It took me a while to figure out why I was getting SO many errors between spreadsheets, but now I'm back on track and happy as a clam that I sleuthed out the problem. I know... I'll just be over here getting my geek on....

Stay tuned tomorrow for a tribute to my new personal hero - she's changing the grammar and typographical errors of the world one billboard/sign at a time!

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Ghetto GPS says "We goin' the back way, aight?"

Yesterday was the Sunflower Knitters Guild Kansas yarn crawl and oh lawdy did we have fun! I teamed up in a car with Miss Carmen, my buddy PlazaJen and our new friend Jenny and we hit all the yarn shops this side of the Missouri River. We started out in Olathe at KnitWit, headed down to Louisburg to the NeedleNest, and then high-tailed it over to Lawrence to Bonkers and Yarn Barn. I went a little beyond my budget but scores some great buys (with discounts!). As a result, I'm on an enforced yarn diet at least until my honeymoon!

The title above refers to our beloved Miss Carmen who proclaimed that we didn't need my GPS in the car yesterday because she had it covered. "You have yourself a genuine Ghetto GPS, so you don't need yours!" We laughed about it throughout the day, but you know what? She knew here way EVERYWHERE. I swear the woman can smell yarn a mile away (as well as tell you exactly what yarn it is!).

After spending all of yesterday with my craft, I spent today with my sweetie. We ran a few errands, had a delicious lunch and then headed out to Smithville Lake for some exploring, a bit of impromptu hiking and some pictures. Mostly we were investigating places to put the kayaks into this HUGE lake.

The drive out there and back provided just enough knitting time for me to finish the first of several knits I have on the needles. Details below:

The Pattern: #30 Mesh Lace Tank from Vogue, Spring/Summer 2008

The Yarn: Dream in Color, Classy, Nightwatch

The Needles: US 8, 9 and 10

The Verdict: This one is actually a sample for A Mano in LA. This was a fun knit, pretty easy and quick. I LOVE the colorway of the yarn... it makes me think of summer storms and is a beautiful blue with shades of grey, green and purple mingled in. The only advice I will give is this - Classy is much larger gauge than the yarn the pattern calls for, so a little goes a long way. I stuck to the XS size and as you can see it fits my size medium body!

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Oops I did it again.

That is, forget to post for a week. I know, just 6 months ago I was posting multiple times a day and now I'm lucky if I post a few times a week! I attribute part of it to my not working in an office environment every day; half my stories used to be weird antics or things that were circulated at work. Lately I've just been spending a lot of time doing things that I love, but these aren't necessarily post-worthy.

This week in particular, I've spent most of my time sleeping late, and knitting. I've also been taking advantage of Fancast. Fancast is a beta project that my friend Knitmeister S's dad had been working on, and I have to say it's fabulous. It's a great LEGAL way to watch episodes of television for free. It's not great if you're looking for the newest stuff, but if you're looking for something a few seasons back... or even a LONG time ago you can score here. This week I have been watching an eclectic mix: Twin Peaks (that David Lynch is a VERY bizarre man but the show has it's hysterical moments!), a few episodes of season 3 of Bones (waiting for them all on Netflix is KILLING me!) and I've also watched several episodes of Hill Street Blues (Steven Bochco's early police comedy featuring a YOUNG David Caruso - pre-scenery chewing CSI!). All have been enjoyable and have helped combat midday tv and rerun boredom.

In the past few weeks I've also been able to polish off a few books. The first is Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. This is a great read about architecture, the church and political intrigue in the time of (and immediate preceding) King Henry's ascension to the throne in England. The story focuses on a church prior and a master stone mason and how their lives intertwine. While the architectural detail in the book can get a little tedious to read at times, the plot itself is full of intrigue and kept me turning the pages rapidly in this 800+ page novel. I'd definitely recommend it!

The second book I've read in the past few weeks is Harry Potter: The Sorcerer's Stone. Yes I know I'm behind the times. I originally bought books one through four after seeing the movies and wanting to know more. But the first time I tried to read the first book, I just got stuck. I already knew most of the plot and it just didn't capture my interest. This time around, I read the book in a day and a half, mostly while I was stuck in the airport. It did hold my interest, and I even managed to glean a few of the literary details that movies so often leave out. I still haven't managed to pick up the next book since I've been back, but it's now on my list.

Finally I've been knitting up a storm. When I went home to LA a week or two ago, I brought a lacy shawl with me that has been relegated to the corner of the couch for some months now. For whatever reason, I just couldn't seem to get the hang of it and that made it more like a chore than fun knitting. I don't know what was wrong before because coming back to it has been so much fun! I ripped through a few repeats while I was in LA and now I'm halfway through the 3rd repeat (1 more full one after this and then edging). At this point it's going slowly because I have almost 300 stitches on the needles, but I'm loving it. I can't wait to finish and post pics!

I've also managed to pick up a few more samples, one for a local store and a few for A Mano. Add that to the baby blankets I'm trying to finish for the fall, several pairs of socks for gifts and all that yarn sitting in wait for things for me and I've been super busy. However, with Wes out of town and this week dedicated to knitting, I've gotten a fair amount done. By the weekend's end I hope to have at least one finished knit to show you. We'll see how I do!

I guess that's all for now. I'm off to pick up my sweetie at the airport and then tomorrow it's off to the Sunflower Knitters Guild Yarn Crawl.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

WWKIP Parte Deux

Today I diligently celebrated the second day of the WWKIP holiday. (Hey if Christmas can have 12 days, can't we knitters have TWO?) Today I celebrated World Wide Knit in Pajamas day by steadfastly refusing to get dressed all day long, while simultaneously knitting up a storm. I would say my only regret is not having a sweet little bunny suit, but frankly this is the Midwest in the middle of June and that would just be SILLY.

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Saturday, June 14, 2008


I bet you didn't know this, but today was World Wide Knit in Public Day. Now if you're like me, you never let anything get in the way of knitting in public. (Yes I have been known to actually knit in movie theaters, while waiting on lines, on my lunch hour, and basically anywhere else you can think of!) But who am I to stand in the way of a day where we can all go knit together?

This morning I took Wes to the airport (he's gone on business for a week) and then headed to the Plaza where a group of KC knitters and crocheters gathered to knit near the J.C. Nichols Fountain. We brought chairs, blankets, water and snacks, and gathered in the shade and knit outdoors for a few hours later. The weather cooperated by being warm, but not too hot in the shade and even though some of us are a little pink tonight, we all had a great time. Teri graciously took some photos of us knitting - these are some of my KC knitting buddies. (From left to right: Mary, Tanya, Carmen, Jenny and me.)

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As applied to life in general (and knitting specifically)

If people aren't looking at you funny, you aren't doing it right.


Friday, June 13, 2008

"I'm thinking Hancock was doing shit around there"

So apparently the past few days the US has been natural disaster central.

* Light was evacuated from her home in the midst of the Santa Cruz wildfires. Luckily her home is safe, but she still can't get back into it and has no water or power.

* Tornadoes hit Manhattan, Kansas a few days ago. The storms were strong enough to throw a car into the engineering building at K-State and (in a somewhat ironic twist) to completely erode the building that houses the nuclear reactor (not to fear, the nuclear reactor itself is underground and unharmed!).

So far we've been lucky enough to evade the flooding in many areas of the Midwest, and even the hail damage that has plagued some parts of KC.

Dear Mr. Weatherman:

We've had enough weather for now.

the little devil


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Update Part III: The Knits

While I was away I got quite a bit of knitting done. I brought four projects: of those, I finished two and made considerable progress on the third.


The Pattern: Smocked Tee from Knit.1 Magazine

The Yarn: Vickie Howell Rock (7 balls black) and Trendsetter Tonalita (1 ball, color of your choice!)

The Needles: US 6's and 7's

The Verdict: This was a sample for A Mano, and was a fun little knit. Honestly it's not quite my style, but it looks great on Annette (one of the LYS owners) and it's a cute knit to display on their table. As for the yarns, I LOVE Tonalita. Rock was a little harder to work with because the hemp tends to shed - I hope that will abate with wear. I love the detailing on the back of this - both the pleat and the seed stitch really set off the top.


The Pattern: Grumperina's Picovoli (Can't get enough of this pattern!)

The Yarn: Frogtree Cotton and Silk

The Needles: US 5's

The Verdict: I LOVE this top and have already worn it twice - and I just finished it last Wednesday! This was an easy knit and the yarn is fabulous - so soft and cool. This will be a great summer top and I can't wait to wear it more!


Update Part II: Going Home Again

This was a great trip to LA but I do think I've learned that you can't go home again. I few home last Sunday to spend some time finishing up wedding planning, hanging with friends, and hanging out with family. I arrived on Sunday night and had lunch with Sean at our favorite Brazilian place. Then I went home with my parents and enjoyed a quiet evening at home.

Monday morning I got up early and took my dress to the seamstress for alterations. I learned that the shoes I bought weren't right for the dress, but everything else went off without a hitch. I had lunch with my old roomie in LA and we chatted about everything under the sun. Then we went over to the mall and I got made over for my wedding. Although my sister is going to do my makeup on my wedding day, I wanted to go to the MAC counter and get a little advice on colors. One makeover and a few dollars later, I had my wedding makeup!

Monday evening I headed over to A Mano to join the group for Stitch & Pitch 2008. Dodger dogs, Stitch n Pitch hats, and 3 hours of knitting later the Dodgers had won the game and the knitters had knitted up a storm. I was really glad I made it home for the game. Even my Pomatomus sock enjoyed the game!

Tuesday Mom and I headed out to the wedding site to work out last minute details. We picked napkins and chairs and set up the time table for the wedding and even got to visit the site once more. Then we tried another cake place and headed home for Sex in the City (fun!) and dinner at my favorite Mexican place.

Wednesday was sushi with the gang and more A Mano time. I came home with a bunch of new samples and even a few bits of yarn for myself (don't worry, I was mostly good!). After knit night Sean and I got together for dinner and enjoyed the evening.

Thursday morning was the final meeting with the florist and Thursday night Wes flew in to LA! Friday was a busy day as we got our marriage license, lunched with friends, picked up my dress and got him fitted for his tux. We managed to find a few spare hours to enjoy Los Angeles though. We sat and watched the sailboats for a few hours before meeting up with friends for dinner.

Saturday Wes and I caught a showing of Indiana Jones and then had dinner and attended the Asia America Symphony with my parents. The show was really amazing - where else can you go see a symphony play Beethoven, Jazz and Flamenco music all in one evening?

Sunday was brunch with my parents and that ill-fated return trip.

All in all it was a great trip. I loved seeing my friends, visiting my old haunts (all the restaurants where the staff knows my name and my order) and spending time with my family. However, I realized that I don't miss the traffic and some of the other things that go along with a big city. Most disappointing this week was that the neighborhood around the LYS has had some problems recently. I guess I don't miss that part of living in a big city - who knew I'd want to come home to Kansas?

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Update Part I: I visited 5 states yesterday, did you?

I'm going to break this mongo update into parts since I have so much to share and plenty of photos to accompany. So hold on to your readers folks... away we go!

Yesterday I visited 5 states, did you? I had a great time in California this past week (more in subsequent posts) but coming home was a wee bit of a nightmare. Wes and I were set to come home on Sunday afternoon. However, when I booked our flights I was unable to get us on flights together. I managed to get Wes the last seat on the direct flight back to Kansas City, but I ended up with a connecting flight to Milwaukee.

Come Sunday night, storms were raging throughout the midwest and Wes was stuck in Omaha and I wasn't budging from Milwaukee. Luckily Wes managed to get home on Sunday. I was stuck in the airport until they canceled my flight (at 1am no less) and told me they couldn't get me home until Tuesday evening.

I managed to find a hotel room by 3am and hooked up with a Professor in the airport who knew people from USC - we ended up renting a car and driving home together. Yesterday we drove through Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri and Kansas. And he had to drive back to Nebraska after that!

Remind me to stop flying places in the very near future.

So now I'm home, doing laundry and cooking and cleaning, hoping for some jobs this week, working on my wedding to do list and knitting (of course!).