Monthly Archives: October 2007

Waiting Waiting Waiting

It’s nearly 7:00.

When will the trick-or-treaters arrive?

I saw kids on the street in costume, but no one has stopped at my place yet.

I have my porch light on and a big bowl full of 96 pieces of candy….just waiting. Keetah and I even sat on our stairs for a bit so we would be ready for action. I’ve now started doing some straightening and other tasks, like signing up for e-statements from our bank.

Muurrrr.

How did THIS Happen?

Isn’t the hat pictured on the left here a wonderful little child-sized hat? For scale, it’s pictured next to the baby hat I finished last week.


The only thing is….it was supposed to be an adult-sized hat.

The pattern is the Utopia Hat, and it’s a really great pattern. The problem, I guess, is that I followed my normal procedure and went down 2 needle sizes because I’m a loose knitter.

In this case, it didn’t work.

I think I have enough yarn to attempt a regular size hat; I’m giving the mini one to a co-worker’s daughter.

Yeah…sometimes I’m a really smart knitter.

In other news, I made this caramelized butternut squash recipe, and it was the best thing ever. Yum! I roasted some acorn squash this evening, and I wished it had been more butternut squash.

Also, I just recently found the Magic Loaf Studio at the Vegan Lunchbox. I can’t wait to make my own veggie loaf – maybe next week.

Have a great week!

I have a physical therapy appointment on Tuesday. I’m hoping that I can get rid of the pain in my ass. Yes, I have a quite annoying and painful pain in my ass. Sometimes I can’t sleep because of it, and it’s really starting to get to me.

Give a Big Shout-Out….

…to Porkchop!
 
It's the one-year anniversary of the kidney donation!!!
 
To relive Porkchop's amazing gift to her dad, go to http://takemykidney.blogspot.com and browse the archives.
 
Yay, Porkchop! Go, kidney, go!

A Font of Wisdom

For the next month, my center is helping host a professor visiting from Indonesia. For the past week, I've been helping him settle into his new office digs and become familiar with the campus.
 
This morning, we went to get his ID made, and on the way back I gave him a mini-tour of some of the original buildings on campus. We were discussing important matters such as what types of food the different campus cafes serve. On the topic of grab-and-go sandwiches, I said I didn't enjoy them very much. The professor pressed me as to why, and I stated that the bread of the prepared sandwiches becomes very soggy.
 
The professor laughed and laughed and said that he had learned something very important. Because, you know, if you're not a regular bread-eater, you just accept that a grab-and-go sandwich represents all of sandwich-dom.
 
I declared that there is a HUGE difference between a good sandwich and a bad sandwich, and the professor appreciated my advice.
 
Yes…this is what I do at work. I help make the world a better place by elucidating the nature of sandwiches.

Keetah in Profile

My friend Carmen requested more photos of Keetah, so here are two from today.

I think this one is really great:


I don’t know how I was able to snap this moment. All of the previous shots were blurry.

I also took a video of Keetah, but I’m having problems loading it. I’ll try again tomorrow, but here’s another picture until then.


What About Knitting?
I didn’t have a chance to pick up metal size 1 dpns, but I did finish this baby hat:


I’m not going to link to the pattern, because it was poorly written once the decreases started. The top of the hat is all off center. If this wasn’t a baby hat, I would have ripped back and done my own decreasing. But, you know, the baby will grow out off this in 4 months or so.

Although I haven’t worked on my Icarus shawl much lately, I’m nearly finished with the fourth repeat of Chart 1. Ugh.

Originally, I intended to start the Utopia hat tonight, but my hands really hurt for some reason. My arms are killing me because of some weights that I did yesterday, but I don’t know what’s up with my hands.

I might just stick to reading What is the What.

And Food
Last night, I made a tasty red and black bean pie. Mmmmm….I’m looking forward to leftovers.

Here’s how to make it:

Heat your oven to 400 F.

Thinly slice the white and green part of a bunch of green onions. Mince 2-3 cloves of garlic.

Heat some oil in a heavy, large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the white part of the onions and the garlic, saute for a few minutes.

Drain and rinse a can of pinto beans and a can of black beans. Add to the onion and garlic. Also add one 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes (with its juice), 1/4 cup water, 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, and the green part of the onions. Season with salt and pepper.

Bring the mixture to a boil, smashing 1/4 of the beans to release the starch. Simmer the mixture for 15-20 minutes until thickened.

Meanwhile, slice a tube of polenta into 8 slices. Prepare a glass pie pan by rubbing some oil in it. Arrange the polenta slices in the pan (7 slices around the outside, 1 in the middle).

Once the bean mixture has thickened, pour it into the pie pan. Top it with 1/2 cup – 1 cup grated pepper jack cheese. Put in the oven and cook 15-20 minutes.

Let rest for 10 minutes before serving. It’s especially tasty served with salsa and tortilla chips. Also, if you’re a fan of cilantro, you can add cilantro at some point.

Breaking Things

When I arrived at my knitting class last night, I sat down at a table and removed my still-not-finished Jaywalker from my bag.

“Shoot!” is what I muttered when I really wanted to yell something else but refrained because I didn’t want to scare the newbie knitters. You know…do you really want people who are just figuring out that the knit stitch and the purl stitch are the same thing only backward to catch on to the fact that knitting can sometimes drive you to cursing?

Okay, so it wasn’t my knitting, exactly, it was my knitting equipment. One of my remaining size 1 needles spontaneously snapped in half during the drive from my apartment to the school.

What the heck?!

Stupid wooden skewer needles! I’m switching to a metal set this weekend…I don’t care if my gauge will be a bit different.

I will switch needles and finish my Jaywalkers, darn it!

Another Broken Thing
I can’t do it anymore….this growing my hair project. I was kind of okay until this morning when I was waiting for the train at the Grand stop and the damp wind came yowling through the train yard and swept my 3.5″ long hair into disarray.

While I was cursing my hair (it’s been quite a week for silent cursing!), I remembered…I don’t have to do this. I can cut my hair and be happy again. So, that’s what I will do next week. I have an appointment all set up for Project: Cut Hair.

This hair is bugging me so much, I was tempted to get my clippers out tonight and take it down to 1/8 of an inch.

Semi-Good Things
At work, we hosted a day-long meeting on Tuesday that was part of a larger conference taking place this week. Fortunately, I was only responsible for logistics and other arrangements for Tuesday.

Everything went surprisingly well. I’m amazed when things fall into place so nicely…room setup, A/V, catering, etc.

Now I can focus on another conference that we have coming up in 3 weeks. Yikes! I have note-takers to hire, booklets to make, and many other things to think about.

Anyway….have a great Friday!

Making Things

Tonight has been an excellent evening of craftiness…I did some knitting, some crochet, and some baking. It was a wonderful comeback to a day that started out kind of rocky.

I went to bed late late late last night after staying up to play Scrabble with Porkchop on Facebook (I recently agreed to join so that we can play Scrabble…even though I’m not so great at Scrabble…maybe there is a Facebook Trivial Pursuit?). This meant I was none too pleased when I woke up at 7:45 to Keetah’s insistent meowing and Porkchop’s call to tell me about her morning at the hot air balloon festival (the same festival we couldn’t go to last weekend, murr).

I finally got out of bed around 9:00 and then proceeded to make a grocery list…because that is exactly what you should do right after getting out of bed on a Saturday morning. Actually, the point was for me to go to the farmers market and pick what I could there. Unfortunately, I spent so much time looking for recipes and whatnot, that I would have been super-rushed at the market and worrying that I wouldn’t be able to make yoga at 11:00. So, I nixed the market. Sad, yet for the best.

Luckily, there are two more outdoor markets left this season. The market on the 27th will be the harvest festival. I’ve been waiting for this festival since last year! This year, I will be prepared to feast on Ozark mushroom soup and to drink up homemade hot chocolate served with homemade marshmallows. Homemade marshmallows! I love it!

Anyway, after yoga and showering and lunch and a bit of knitting, I went to Michael’s for some craft supplies and then to Dierbergs for food.

After getting home and having dinner, I made this:


I’m thinking necklaces like these will make excellent presents for my mom and sister and some of my co-workers. A woman in my knitting class called my attention to this tutorial on youtube. The tutorial teacher is a bit scary with serious fake fingernails and loads of jewelry, but the necklaces are fun and easy to make. You just crochet 3 beaded strands, braid them together, and throw on a toggle clasp. Fun! And fast! This required maybe 45 minutes, and I was talking on the phone part of the time.

Now I want to buy more beads.

After the necklace, I knitted some more. I’m making a baby hat for the son of my roommate (and good friend) from college. We recently reconnected, and I’m quite excited to send her some knitted things.

I also worked on the hat while baking biscotti. This particular biscotti uses whole wheat flour and toffee. I would post a picture, but it would just be brown on brown. Not so colorful, yet tasty. I just had a biscotti and a hot chocolate.

I wish there were 3 more hours in this night. I know I should go to bed soon, but I want to knit more!

Peer Pressure

I finally put my name on the Ravelry waiting list.
 
I put this off for so long because I'm a bit daunted by the prospect of keeping everything up-to-date.
 
Since I'm number 15,647 in line, I'll have some time to prepare. I signed up around 10:00 this morning (because, you know, I have nothing to catch up on after my vacation!), and there are now 68 people behind me.
 
Where do we all come from?

The Borders of Our Lives

Hello!

I’m watching Antiques Roadshow and relaxing after a day of getting up early and catching a 7:10 flight from Albuquerque with stops in Houston and Dallas. I’m also trying to ignore the sadness that comes on strong after leaving Porkchop.

Murrr.

Anyway, we had a very good visit, even though we weren’t able to swing a trip to the Balloon Fiesta. It’s okay….I’ve seen a couple of hot air balloon festivals before.

So….

Thursday
Porkchop met me at the ABQ sunport a little after 10:00. We took the bus into town and then stopped at her apartment before going to Tamarind. Visiting Tamarind was weird because I felt like I knew everyone, even though I had never met them before (except for Alex, who visited St. Louis recently). After touring the studio and hanging out, we all went to the Frontier for lunch. I wasn’t very impressed with my vegetarian burrito, but I was happy to finally eat at the famous Frontier.

After lunch, I sat in on a demo by Porkchop’s instructor. After that, we went back Porkchop’s apartment and opened anniversary presents (7 years today – woot!). I received some Dagoba chocolate, a very pretty necklace from Mariposa (a shop on Nob Hill), and a toy cap gun. While Porkchop headed back to the studio, I slept for a couple of hours.

We had fast food Japanese for dinner and then later hung out at Patrick’s place. Patrick is Porkchop’s favorite Tamarind buddy and is a very nice (although very young) guy. At his apartment, we snacked on mixed nuts and played a fun Polish game – the name of which I cannot remember.

Friday
Porkchop left for Tamarind early in the morning while I slept in (the high altitude makes me tired!). I managed to squeeze in an hour and a half of knitting at Satellite Coffee before joining the Tamarind gang for lunch at Winnings (yum! hummus sandwich!).

In the afternoon, I went on the monthly official tour of Tamarind, during which I watched Four Stones for Kanemitsu. Once the tour concluded, I hung out in the studio and watched some of the students try their hand at a blend roll.

After a spaghetti dinner, Porkchop convinced me that I wanted to make my own print during my visit.

So, we went back to Tamarind where Porkchop prepared a couple of plates for me. We used plates instead of stones because Porkchop just happened to have some scrap plates. Here are shots from Friday night…

Porkchop doing prep work on a plate that I drew on with a greasy pencil:

Both plates nearly ready to go (after a couple of hours of working):

The plate on the right will be a flat…a solid block of ink with, in this case, the paper showing through where the designs are. The plate on the left will only have ink in the areas with designs.

Saturday
After a leisurely morning, we walked down to Nob Hill to browse through shops and get lunch at Scalo. I had a delicious nicoise salad with ahi tuna, potatoes, olives, zucchini, and a poached egg. Here I am looking quite tired (again), but I like the Satellite Coffee and the mountains in the background:

The afternoon featured more work at Tamarind. More shots…

Porkchop doing more prep work:

Porkchop mixing ink for the flat:

Porkchop rolling out the ink and giving me an amused look:

Me trying my hand at the press:

Printing made us work up an appetite, so we had pizza at Saggio’s.

After a bit of resting, we went out for a drink with Patrick and his parents (who were visiting from Milwaukee). After a couple of drinks, we (minus the parents) went to Valpuri’s house. Valpuri is Porkchop’s classmate who is from Finland and goes by Valps. Valps Finnishness came through when she offered us a drink of licorice-flavored vodka that she made by melting half a bag of her favorite licorice candies. Mmmmm…it was deliciously salty and licorice-y.

Sunday
Sunday meant sleeping in late and then going out for bagel sandwiches for lunch. After eating, it was back to the studio to print my second plate.

Here are some finished prints laid out to dry:

I was a bit disappointed with the end result, but I had a few things working against me, including sort-of-crappy plates with areas on which I couldn’t draw, inexperience, and lack of drawing skills. Anyway, now that I know my limitations, I have plans for a second print that should be more successful. Next time.

Once printing was done, Porkchop and I went for a walk on campus and hung out by a duck pond, enjoying the sun, the cool breeze, and the guy who took study breaks by walking on a tight rope.

Sunday night was reserved to go to Albuquerque’s Packers bar with Patrick and his parents. It was a big game, you know! The Packers versus the Bears. Unfortunately, the Packers lost. However, it was fascinating to observe a little outpost of Packers and Wisconsin culture (including Johnsonville brats and sauerkraut) in the desert.

Today
This morning came too quickly with a 5:15 alarm and a taxi to catch at 5:45.

Murrrr.

I miss Porkchop.

Really??

I can’t believe Bush vetoed SCHIP.

Actually, I can believe it.

And, I’m kind of glad he did so that it’s very obvious that he and his administration are asses.