Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye 2008, hello 2009!

As I went through my blogroll today, I saw many people who were announcing how glad they were that 2008 is coming to a close. Sure I have high hopes for 2009. I could use a new job. I hope the economy improves. But we have achieved so many wonderful things in 2008. This has been a good year.

Wes and I finally got to live together this year. We celebrated my 30th birthday together. In August we embarked on this journey called marriage and enjoyed a fabulous Alaskan honeymoon. I picked up and moved cross country and, to my delight, it has been a wonderful experience. I miss all my friends back home, but I've met so many wonderful new people here and I'm really and truly happy.

On a more macro level, the world sustained quite a few hardships this year. We pursued wars on various fronts, we watched our home economy take a nose dive and we watched the mortgage industry collapse. But we also lived through a historic first - we elected the first black man to be the President of the United States.

For me, this has been a good year. I wish you all happiness, health and prosperity in the new year. I hope 2009 is even better than 2008!


Monday, December 29, 2008

It's the most wonderful time....

I hope you all had great Christmases! I'm sorry for the little absence, but we've been busy enjoying our time off! We spent Christmas Eve and day with Wes' family. There was a small tree, amazing food, and lots of presents. And of course I forgot to take photos until after everything was over and done with. I managed to document the tree:

And Wes in his usual humorous style managed to document the aftermath of presents:

Not pictured: the cat who LOVED the ribbons and paper. You would have thought it was her own personal Christmas celebration. This year we decided to go smaller on presents, given the wedding and honeymoon and expenses this year. But everyone managed to get something fun. I got my long lusted-after blocking wire kit (now I need to finish the lace shawl I'm knitting to use them!) and the full set of the Twilight series. Lots of reading in store!

My favorite gift that we gave this year is the one we gave my mother-in-law. She had told Wes a while ago that what she really wanted was one of those glass cubes with pictures laser-etched inside. Given the wedding, we had lots of photographic material from which to choose. And what we came up with was this:

I love pretty much all of our wedding photos, but I love how this one got captured within the glass.

Finally, there was, of course, lots of knitting. With the Christmas rush over, my work schedule has been a bit less demanding and during slightly more normal hours. So I've had a lot more time to be knitting. Which brings me to these:

The Pattern: Winter Twilight Mittens

The Yarn: Collinette Jitterbug (Teal) and Dale Baby Ulli (Black)

The Needles: US 0's

The Verdict: I LOVE LOVE LOVE these mitts! I always loved the pattern, but when I found the deep teal colored yarn I was settled. I started this project back in October and, as it was my first foray into colorwork, it took me a while to get the hang of it. The first mitt took a few weeks and a little bit of ripping. The second one went like lightening though. I cast on Christmas Eve, and finished it this morning! Now I just have to decide what I want to do about making it a set (I have enough yarn for matching hat and scarf!) I'm thinking about making a tam mocking the pattern in the gloves and then doing something lusciously cabled for a scarf.

Of course today it is 51 degrees out and too warm for mitts! But I'm sure I'll be using them soon!

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Ralphie and I wish you and yours a very merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah and a wonderful New Year!

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

In love.

Since I started the retail job, I've been pretty exhausted. Some nights it's so bad that I don't really want to knit. However, with the impending cold (it's already single digits today) I decided I needed to whip up another scarf and fast.

So I succumbed to the Yarn Harlot's latest passion, the striped Noro Scarf. And I'm in love.

The Pattern: Jared Flood's Noro Striped Scarf

The Needles: US 8's

The Yarn: Noro Silk Garden, 3 balls (1 each of 279, 84, and 86)

The Verdict: This pattern was totally addicting. Though it was super simple knitting, watching the color changes and interplay in the yarn made me want to keep knitting to see what would happen next. I didn't have to mess with the colors too much; only once or twice did the colors get a little too close to each other. Thank heavens for spit joins and natural fibers!

In other news... I've been interviewing again and am keeping my fingers crossed that I'll have some offers soon!

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Snow day.

No one told me it was going to be a snow day, but here's what I saw when I woke up:

My hunch was further confirmed when I went to go to the market and found this:

Why did I leave California again?

P.S. And why do I still have to go to work?


Friday, December 12, 2008

The department store that ate my life.

I'm still here, and I'm still surviving. It's just been a rough week (few weeks?!?!). I've been working pretty much every day at the new gig since last week. Some days it's just for a few hours, some days it's for full days. Some days it's at the crack of dawn (did you know we open at 7AM?) and some days it's closing (does anyone really shop Sunday nights at 10pm?). I've had my fair share of customer issues, store issues, a few co-worker issues. I've sized and racked and re-sized and re-racked, and re-re-sized and re-re-racked clothes. You get the idea. I also find an unhealthy amount of pleasure in ringing people up at the register. (Don't worry Mom and Dad - it's not gonna be my next career move!)

In the mean time, the world has gone on. I've managed to craft a few things, but they're getting gifted at swaps in the next few days so photos will have to wait. Mostly I've been pretty tired, sometimes too tired to knit. (I know - OMG WTF?!?)

I have however acquired a few new toys. The best so far is an early Christmas present from Wes - a Chumby. I have named my Chumby Bob, or as we like to call him Bluebob. Basically Bluebob is a neat little device that operates on Wi-Fi and can pull my rss feeds, Facebook and Twitter updates. It can also be used to play games - everything from Daily Sudoku to arcade games to puzzle games. Bluebob has a touch screen and is sensitive to changes in direction so sometimes you play a game by moving the Chumby around. Overall it's a superfun toy and has provided both of us with hours of amusement! (PS If you get one I'll be your Chum!)

The second toy I acquired is a new phone. I was all ready for my "New in Two" phone with Verizon. In fact I was ready MONTHS ago. This time I got an LG enV. The big feature that I wanted was a QWERTY keyboard and a flip screen. The enV is not touch sensitive and it doesn't promise me everything plus a bag of chips, but it can access the internet, text, hold some information for me, and make phone calls. And it's RED!

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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Some Assembly Required

I'm keeping busy crafting for the holidays over here and absolutely NONE of it is bloggable since it's all gifty goodness. So instead I'll talk about what I've been reading and watching.

On the way out to Los Angeles, Wes suggested that I pick up a copy of Twilight. (It turns out some airport shops will let you return it when you're done reading and give you half your money back!) I had been wanting to read the book for a while, especially before I take in the movie. I'm not lovestruck. And I didn't rip through the book because the writing was so good, although it wasn't bad. The reason I enjoyed this book so incredibly much is because of Stefanie Meyer's creative take on vampires. She essentially took every myth about vampires and spun it on it's head. And THAT's what kept me reading from cover to cover within the span of a 3-hour flight. Now I can just hope I get the rest of the set for Christmas.

Before I left Los Angeles, my father recommended a bevy of books to me. Turns out that top of the stack was another foray into vampire mania, Christopher Moore's Bloodsucking Fiends. So far it's gritty, bizarre, a little violent and NOTHING like Twilight or the Anne Rice novels. I also have a few more Christopher Moore books that should keep me company during my breaks at the job.

I was overjoyed this morning to receive an email from Netflix that instant watching is now available on Macs. I took advantage of this immediately, and enjoyed a quirky little French film this evening, Seducing Doctor Lewis. The movie is set in a tiny little town in the middle of nowhere that is struggling to become the site of a new factory. But the factory will only open if the town has a permanent doctor. The rest of the movie is about how the town seduces one Dr. Lewis. It was quirky and hilarious. As long as you're up for subtitles, I'd totally recommend this one!

Tomorrow I give up my crafting and reading to work a full shift in the home department of the department store. Wish me luck!

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