Tuesday, January 30, 2007


I just saw a maintenance person wearing a veritable scarf of keys. Hundreds of keys on multiple rings slung over his shoulder! It was beautiful, and I wish I had a picture of it.

It reminded me of This American Life's "The Super" episode, which I listened to last night. It was really good. I'll have to re-listen to it later because I was reading while listening, and that can be difficult for me. I end up only catching half of both things.

Porkchop and I have both finished Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. I found it bitterly delightful. Oskar Shell is one of my favorite people ever. Also, I like how even Oskar is relevant to my "Keys" post.

Last night, while listening to TAL and multi-tasking, I tried leaving a comment on a certain blog. I failed the word verification security feature a total of 4 times! Is it just me? Is something wrong with my laptop's keyboard (to tie to this post)? I ended up having to use the accessibility option, and I somehow managed to listen and type in the recorded numbers correctly.

This is not the first time I've failed a word verification multiple times. Since this feature is used to screen out spam robots, I'm starting to think I am perhaps a robot. A robot who can't use a keyboard!

Monday, January 29, 2007

About those Brownies

Here's the brownie recipe that I mentioned yesterday. Although I was at first skeptical about these brownies - I mean, nothing can beat my mom's recipe - they turned out really well. You just have to wait for them to cool and firm up.

This morning, I bagged a nice little brownie for each of us (Porkchop and me) for a treat later. Porkchop was initially upset that I gave her such a small (regular) square, but then she couldn't eat the entire thing in one sitting. So it was a good thing. Of course, keep in mind that Porkchop is a chocolate wimp.

I'm not posting a picture of these brownies because they're plain old brownies. Nothing exciting to see here, folks.

1 2/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons water
4 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, broken into pieces
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Microwave sugar, butter, and water in large, microwave-safe bowl on high for 4-5 minutes or until mixture bubbles, stirring once (or heat the mixture in a medium saucepan). Add baking bars, stirring until melted.

Stir in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla extract. Gradually stir in flour, baking soda, and salt. Pour into greased 13x9-inch baking pan.

Bake in preheated 350 F oven for 15-20 minutes or until wooden pick comes out slightly sticky. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

Makes around 2 dozen...depending on how you cut the brownie.


Sunday, January 28, 2007

Celebrity Sighting

This afternoon, Porkchop and I made a trip to Trader Joe's. While I braved a busy aisle to pick up pizza sauce, Porkchop waited by a beer display.

Fighting a crowd, I emerged from the aisle to see Porkchop speaking to a stranger, saying, "Yup, I'm the kidney donor."

Turns out, the stranger was a regular reader of Porkchop's kidney blog and recognized Porkchop from her pictures. Crazy!

That wasn't the only exciting thing that happened this weekend...

Ice Festival
On Saturday, we headed out to St. Charles to see the ice carving going on at the ice festival.

We saw a lot of standard nature scenes....like...

...bird, fish, and bear...

...and, horse versus bear...

We also saw some different things...like...

....a dog on skis...

...and a surf scene...

All in all, it was a nice outing. We especially enjoyed the little wood fire stoves stationed on each block. Also, we had lunch at a place serving chicken and dumplings as a special...I had been craving just that a few days ago.

Most of all, we just enjoyed being out of the apartment.

After the ice festival, we went to a mall, where I made a huge buy-nothing month transgression at the Limited. I couldn't resist pants and a nice green cardigan for 40% off!

We started our day with yoga. Yay!

After that and a bit of lunch, we did our grocery shopping rounds. At home, we made chocolate fudge brownies. Since I'm too lazy to take a picture or retrieve the recipe right now, I'll post those later.

We also made a pizza. Yum yum yum! We made our own pizza crust and topped it with fresh mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, and pesto. It was one of the best pizzas I've ever had.

My mom gave us the baking stone a few years ago, and this was our first time to use it. I want pizza every weekend now! So good.

I had to call another knitting break this weekend. The nerves in my right index finger are going crazy...I just have random pain in it. Since I'm constantly touching my needle tips with my right index finger, knitting really really hurts.

So I'm taking another break.


On that note, must go since typing is also painful.

Have a great week!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Obviously, This is What I do at Work


So....the upcoming Interweave Knits has a whopping 3 patterns piquing my interest.

  1. Entrelac socks. Remember how I'm not a sock knitter and never learned entrelac? For this pattern, I would knit socks and learn entrelac. I *heart* knee-high socks, and the socks in the picture are really freakin' cute. Cute! Five skeins of yarn for two socks? Sign me up!

  2. Green tea raglan. I've seen a lot of ugly, offensive-looking sweater patterns out on the Internet today, folks. This raglan is neither ugly nor offensive. This is a possibility for a first sweater, I think.

  3. Slanted neck pullover. I also *heart* asymmetrical clothing items! I'm wearing one right now! Also a first sweater (or pullover) possibility. Just not in that blue (the color isn't ugly, just not for me).

Do I have to wait until February 20 for the new issue? That sucks.

Anyone else cringe upon viewing the knitted thong on the IK website? Seems like that would be a tad uncomfortable. But maybe it's not for wearing.

Thursday, January 25, 2007


That's how things have been.

The work at work has been busy, my scarf has been growing, we've been cooking most nights, and the sun is shining through my office window. For a garden level office, I receive a good amount of sun.

After knitting a few rows at lunch today, I walked to the campus library to pick up a book (Foer's Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close...yeah, we're probably among the few who haven't read it yet). While walking, I took long draws of the sunshiny air and kept a leisurely pace. On the way back, I tried to devise a longer-than-necessary route, but it wasn't long enough.

The sun also shone on Tuesday. It was warmer, and I didn't need a jacket when walking to a meeting next door. For the first time in a few months, my fingers felt alive and part of my body. They usually feel like bendable icicles connected via wire and about to shatter at any second.

I wish I could be outside. Walking with a warm beverage.

Overall, I am glad to be in Missouri, where snow melts the very next day. That was my problem with Wisconsin (and Iowa, but who cares about Iowa?). I couldn't take the snowy expanse of January through March. I have to see the ground, even if the grass is brown and sad. I have to know that the earth is still there.

Oh, Iowa, I am slowly erasing it from my memory. After I receive my Iowa W-2 and send my taxes off, I can forget it completely.

Some day, Porkchop and I will be reminiscing (what we call "relationship reconstruction") and one of us will say, "And then after Madison, we moved to St. Louis." And then the other will say, "Wasn't there somewhere between Madison and St. Louis? Somewhere desolate and that made us sad? Where maybe we cried explosively every couple of weeks? And maybe hated every single God forsaken day?" And the other will shake her head, take the other's hand, and say, "....No, no, I think that must have been a bad dream."

Speaking of memory, the last few books I've read have concerned memory in some form. It's strange...how one will unknowingly start a reading trend. The Memory of Running: reliving forgotten memories and finding one's self again. The Uses of Enchantment: making up memories. Man Walks into a Room: losing 24 years of memories and, for the most part, not wanting them back.

Here is some of what I remember of this past week....

As stated, the scarf is growing. I'm well into the second skein. It's still a leisurely pace, made even more leisurely when my left hand starting spasming like you wouldn't believe. I could barely type! That necessitated a 2-day break.

I am bored with my current knitting state. I'm finally ready to broach a sweater, which scares the heck out of me. Gauge-checking, seaming, the possibility of me screwing up big time...yikes! Under consideration are the hourglass sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts and a build-your-own from a website that I can't recall at the moment.

I want something simple that won't give me a headache or make me cry. And I want yarn that's a silk/cashmere blend. And green...a nice vibrant spring green.

Yeah....no baking post this week. I wanted so badly to make brownies Sunday night, so imagine my sorrow when I realized we didn't have enough cocoa.

Porkchop offered to go get some, but I couldn't send her out into the dreariness. So, we made M&M cookies instead. Good, but not brownies.

Maybe I'll be adventurous this weekend and make fancy brownies.

Porkchop made yummy chicken with plum chutney Monday night. Her roommate from college, who works and lives at the World Bird Sanctuary, joined us for dinner. We heard a lot of bird stories.

Last night I made a yummy bean and pasta soup using sundried tomatoes, regular tomatoes, navy beans, and pasta. Always satisfying.

We haven't gone to a real restaurant in quite some time. I've been fine, but I can't wait to go somewhere that's super fantastic.

Our Gas Bill
This was $300 last month. Yeah, WTF??

Thanks to Porkchop's alertness, we realized the bill had been estimated. Oh, but not just that bill, all of our readings since we've moved in have been estimates! Who knows if these were close to reality, as we have no idea what the baseline was.

We're starting to read our own as of now. Our next bill should only be $100-$150.

This Weekend
No solid plans as of yet.

Maybe we'll go see Volver, breaking our buy-nothing rule a bit. Last weekend we caved in and rented a movie, Everything is Illuminated. Neither of us have read the book, so I have since requested it. This also explains my trip to the campus library today.

Elijah Wood creeps me out ever since I saw Sin City. Let me note that I didn't realize that the movie I was going to see was that movie; otherwise, I would not have gone. More like Crap City. Yuck.

Hopefully some will be posted tonight. We'll see.

Have a good afternoon and night! Enjoy the sun!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

You Always Know What to Say

A coworker just asked if I have a bruise under my eye.

Uh, no....those are just my tired bags. Thanks!

Actually...not bags...more like caves.

On Being a Sloth


I don't have much to report because, as of late, Porkchop and I have been slothlike in the evenings. This is due to our drafty apartment and the pain involved in removing one's self out from under a blanket and away from the spaceheater. Also, we have watched American Idol auditions the past two nights.

After the auditions last night, I pinned the spots where I wanted slots on the knitting needle case that Porkchop made last month. Then, she even sewed it up last night.

Pretty! See:

It is the best.

Porkchop is also the best for getting up early on her day off yesterday and taking me to work and then picking me up. Yay!

I have a staff retreat all day tomorrow and I so DO NOT want to go. You might recall that this retreat was cancelled the last time because of the big ice/snow storm. I would wish for another cancellation, but that would be mean, what with everyone just getting powered back up and all...

P.S. I will post bigger pictures tonight. It looks like I only have the thumbnails with me.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

This is also Here!

When I composed this morning's post about the sun finally shining, I meant to make another "it's here!" declaration. Yeah, time for Edy's Girl Scout cookie ice cream!! I purchased our first carton of thin mint yesterday.

Also, if you know a Girl Scout in the area, count on me for at least a couple of boxes. I spent a good 10 years in the cookie-selling trenches, so I love to help a scout out, especially one who always just barely earns the smallest badge available by selling 25 boxes, primarily to her family. Yeah, that was me. While my fellow troop members were related to half the town and easily sold 250 boxes (no joke) and came away with the huge-ass badge and extra prizes, I only made it to the second tier badge once. And, really, I think my dad bought half of those.

Whatever, I earned my Gold Award anyway. BTW, now scouts have to earn "charms" as part of the Gold Award?! WTF! Actually, there's a pretty good article in the recent Bitch about the new face of Girl Scouts. Also in that Bitch, a good article about tying activism into knitting.

Finally, on another note, here are those deviled egg recipes. While I don't condone eating only the yolk filling, Porkchop and I do enjoy little sandwiches made with the extra filling. Yum! Enjoy!

Deviled Pesto Eggs
6 hardboiled eggs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon pesto
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
Parsley and capers for garnish

Do the usual egg prep: peel, slice, remove yolks. In a bowl, mash yolks; add mayonnaise and mustard, blending until smooth. Stir in pesto, Parmesan, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon filling into egg whites. Garnish and refrigerate until serving time.

Curried Stuffed Eggs
6 hardboiled eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 1/2 tablespoons sour cream
1 1/4 teaspoons curry powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sweet relish
1 green onion, chopped fine
1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco
Salt and pepper to taste
Thinly sliced green onion for garnish

Do the usual egg prep: peel, slice, remove yolks. In a bowl, mash yolks; stir in remaining ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste. Spoon filling into egg whites. Garnish with sliced green onion and refrigerate until serving time.

I'm back to riding the bus tomorrow morning because Porkchop has the day off. I do not look forward to waiting for the bus or the walk from the train station.

However....I must say it is not that cold. A news guy tonight kept on talking about the "St. Louis winter." Yeah....remember when it was in the 50s maybe a week and a half ago? Buddy, this is not cold. Until my snot freezes in my nose, it is not so cold.

It's Here

The sun is shining! So excited! Wish I could be outside instead of in my office, but at least I have a window.

The last few days have been nothing but dreariness. Blech blech blech.

Porkchop and I were stuck on Grand for more than 20 minutes this morning - and that was just between Arsenal and I-44, which normally takes maybe 2 or 3 minutes to cover. So....that put us off on the wrong foot. The traffic signals at I-44 seriously need to be replaced; they go out during even the smallest thunderstorm. Grrrr.

It is hard to be back at work after training last week and my 3-day weekend.

P.S. While I'm disappointed that Little Miss Sunshine didn't take best movie at the Golden Globes, I'm thankful that it didn't lose out to that stupid Borat movie. Enduring Baron Cohen's acceptance speech for his individual award was torture enough.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Go Go Go!


This weekend was full of activity. Busy! Fortunately, we received hardly any ice and our power never wavered. (Knock on wood.)

Before the day really got started, Porkchop took a fall down our front steps because the bottom two were a bit iced over. See her livejournal or kidney blog for a gruesome photo. Ow! It seems that we have a hard time staying upright around here.

Anyway, the other big event was going to the Blues game. The owners wanted a super-good turnout because the game was broadcast nationally, so they decided to give away hot dogs, chicken tenders, popcorn, peanuts, soda, and bottled water. You see, the Blues have sucked for the past year and a half. Even with the recent turnaround with the new coach, people still aren't flocking to see them. So, free food! Again, see Porkchop's lj for more details and a photo.

After we returned home Saturday evening, I started to feel a bit icky. My cheeks flared up and I was a tired-head. Instead of going to Suzi's with Porkchop, I stayed home and didn't do much at all. I didn't feel like knitting, reading, or watching TV. What I really wanted was a picture book. Seriously! Something to occupy the no-thought part of my brain yet provide some stimulus. Instead, I fiddled around online and looked at blogs from bed.

With nearly 12 hours of sleep, I woke up with a major sleep hangover. Murrr!

But, I quickly recovered and started to make up for lost time. First up was straightening the apartment and starting laundry. I've done at least 6 loads this weekend. Clothes, towels, sheets....it never ends.

Next, I started making lunch. This was no small task, as we were having a chicken and edamame stirfry. Yum! We were both pleased with the results. If you look at the recipe, you can see that it would work equally well with tofu instead of chicken. Maybe next time!

After lunch, I knitted a bit. The cabled scarf is slow going....it's a nice leisurely pace. Here is the scarf status as of this morning (note Keetah and her special princess pillow in the background):

keetah and her pillow

Here's a pic of me knitting. Keetah always likes to be close to the knitting action...even if the quarters are a bit crowded. (P.S. When I got up to do something, Keetah immediately stole my spot in the chair.)

hanging with keetah

After knitting and more laundry, we made deviled pesto eggs. Super-yum! We love deviled eggs!

deviled eggs

These eggs are one of our favorites because you use pesto, lemon juice, and Parmesan cheese (in addition to the mayonnaise and dijon mustard). We also make a curried deviled egg recipe that is kick-ass.

Of course, some people can't take these fancy deviled eggs. Last year, Porkchop took the pesto ones to a work potluck and one of her co-workers said that they tasted like turpentine. That was before he realized that she brought them (actually, I think she told him that she brought them and he thought she was joking). Anyway, be careful about who you share your eggs with, I guess.

If you love deviled eggs as much as we do, I'll give you the recipes.

After eggs, I made cornmeal-cranberry cookies. I give these a so-so rating. They're okay, but not wow! yum! Also, I burnt the bottoms of nearly half the batch. Chalk that up to a thin baking sheet, uneven oven heat distribution, or my failure to use parchment paper. Does parchment paper have an effect on crispness? Since I didn't have the paper, I just lightly greased the pans.

Anyway, here's the picture:


And, if you must make these, here's the recipe:


1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 cup dried cranberries (or cherries), finely chopped

In a medium bowl, whisk together first four ingredients. In another bowl, use a mixer to beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in vanilla, egg, and orange zest. With mixer on low, add dry ingredients; beat until just combined. Fold in cranberries.

Transfer dough to a piece of waxed paper. Use the paper to pat the dough into a loaf, 8 inches long by 2 inches wide. Wrap in paper and refrigerate until firm (at least 1 hour).

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (or grease them with butter). Cut dough crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place on baking sheets, 1/2 inch apart. Bake until cookies are firm to touch, 10-12 minutes (rotate sheets halfway through). Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool.

Other Things
As requested, here's the link to the recipe for porkchops with sage-cider cream sauce. The recipe is for 1 chop; when we make the recipe for 2 chops, we do not double the sauce part because it makes quite a bit. However, if we make 3 chops, we do double the sauce part.

Also, I have tomorrow off. Yay! I already have my day planned out...exercise, Hartford Coffee for knitting, lunch, grocery store, dinner. Awesome.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


I'm totally excited about the recipes on this website. It makes me look forward to cooking again (it has started to feel like a chore lately). I can't wait to make the Ethiopian Spicy Lentil Soup, which I'm sure would be terrific with injera, but injera seems hard. Maybe brown rice.

On a non-inspirational note, I brought in some of my chocolate-coconut macaroons to share with my office-mates. All except for one were excited about the treats. Can you guess who the downer was?

Yep, our socially awkward admin assistant who takes joy in turning down the treats that I bring in. Seriously, the AA couldn't hide her huge grin when refusing my offer. I wouldn't even extend an offer, but that would be so rude. And I have a hard time being intentionally rude.

On a totally different note, I decided to use my blue Malabrigo to make a cabled scarf (with the pattern used previously for the gift-scarf). I'm happy with this decision.

Monday, January 08, 2007

I Love Espresso Beans


Today I started a 4-day session of GIS (geographic information systems, if you must ask) training. Maps are fun. I'm not exactly sure how this will play into my job, but I hope it does. In the meantime, I'm enjoying time out of the office and free lunches.

Here's my usual weekend recap...

Even though there were a million other things (or at least three) that I wanted to do Saturday morning, I accompanied Porkchop during her 4-hour stint at the UPS Store. Because these are the things that we do. Also, guilt-inducement might have played a role!

Here's Porkchop hard at work:

employee of the month

It was thrilling. I don't know how that store operates without me reading for 4 hours.

The reading material in question was The Uses of Enchantment, which I thoroughly did not enjoy yet continued to read, hoping for some sort of redeeming quality. While I appreciate the interesting look at how truth can be constructed, I didn't like the following:
  • The slamming of feminist psychoanalysis. The main character is critical of psychoanalysis in general, but particularly feminist psychoanalysis. Maybe the author agrees with the viewpoints expressed by the main character, maybe she doesn't...I don't know. I do know that such seemingly uninformed patriarchalist criticism is still damaging to feminism at this point in time (and maybe forever).

  • The book reinforces the idea that girls' lives don't have points, that's why they do things like plan their own abductions. In a time when girls are abducted and sexually assaulted every day, I don't see the point in adding to the cultural imagination that girls make up this shit because they're bored.

  • The only character given the "I" narrator is the male psychoanalyst who "stole" the main character's story (abduction) and wrote a book about how girls make up extreme lies. Literary device? maybe. Annoying? sure as hell.

Finally, none of the characters went through any sort of extreme transformation to warrant the pain of reading the book. So, don't do it.

After the UPS Store, I did fun things such as dish washing, sweeping, and mopping. Fun times! However, real fun was had by going to eat at Everest Café, the owner of which has a master's and doctorate in public health. I enjoyed nearly everything, including my huge vegetarian platter, the daal, Nepali tea, and kheer. The only not-so-good thing was the samosa, which tasted like it could have been frozen.

Me and my platter:

biggest platter ever

All of the reviews I read about Everest Café made a point to state that one might want to visit in the daytime due to the sketchy environs. Maybe I'm inured to such things, but come on people! There were neither run down buildings nearby nor gunshots to be heard. So, suck it up.

Upon returning from dinner, I practiced crocheting for a couple of hours. I brushed up on single and double crochet and learned half double crochet. Next up is triple crochet, and then I start more fun things.

Sunday was sleep-in day and grocery-shopping day.

I accidentally bought $12.50 worth of dark chocolate-covered espresso beans. That is all I have to say about that.

Porkchop and I had a bake-off Sunday evening. She made M&M cookies while I made chocolate-coconut macaroons. Both are delicious.



After dinner, I partook of our sweets and enjoyed a coffee stout. I'm in trouble with this coffee stout. You see, we bought a 12-pack in late December, thinking we might take it along during our January travels. With no travels, I'm stuck drinking most of it. Not a bad fate, but I usually don't average 12 beers in 1 year. It is my goal to drink one per week.

Another goal is to bake something once a week (or thereabouts), post a picture, and share the recipe.

Let's start with this week.


2 large egg whites
1/4 cup sugar
2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
7 oz sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat a 12-cup nonstick muffin pan with cooking spray. [Recipe makes 12, feel free to use a 6-cup pan twice.]

Whisk together egg whites, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt until frothy. With a fork, stir in coconut until coated. Spoon mixture into tin and press in gently with a fork (or your floured hand). Sprinkle with almonds, pressing gently to adhere.

Bake 20-30 minutes or until almonds are golden. Let cool in muffin pan for 10 minutes. Run a fork or metal spatula around macaroons to loosen. Turn out onto wire rack for cooling.


Friday, January 05, 2007

What?! It's only 2:00?

I can't believe how this afternoon is moving along like sludge.


I haven't posted in the past few days because of the following reasons:

  • I've actually been working at work. This is part of my new year "turn over a new leaf" thing. I'm also avoiding certain gossip-y websites because I don't give a damn about celebrities, so why do I want to waste my internet time reading about them? I'm currently trying to find good blogs with a purpose and a can-do attitude to add to my daily read. Know of any? Tell me, then.

  • I haven't been knitting or crocheting, so no news to report on that front.

  • I've been reading The Memory of Running. The description makes it sound a bit hokey, but it's really good. I was sucked in and had to spend every possible free moment in 34 hours reading it.

  • I fell. And I hurt a bit. Less now.

I received a few comments this week that I want to respond to...

Breast Cancer and Cleaning Products
Val is right, this linkage is not discussed enough. For obvious reasons.

Val, please forward information regarding the natural products company that you mentioned.

Also, I am appalled that I did not realize how often cats are harmed by cleaning products!

On a side note, Porkchop and I once applied some Hartz flea repellent on Keetah because it was summer and she was going outside. Once we realized her discomfort, we washed and washed that stuff off. But not before it burned a hole through her fur. Poor thing!

Speaking of Keetah, she has recently commandeered the Ikea chair that we moved into the living room during Porkchop's kidney donation recovery. This frustrates me because that chair was previously the one fur-free spot in the entire apartment! Although she's super cute in the chair, this has to stop. The other night, I got out of the chair for a reading-break and Keetah totally stole it from me! Ridiculous.

Log Cabin Acrylic Afghans and My Scarf
CJ, Savers stocks yarn regularly?

I can't wait to see your completed afghan...even if it is petroleum-based! I can see how a log cabin afghan would be satisfying.

I did not impale myself during the I-cord cast-on, but a vein might have popped in my forehead.

I thought about using my 2 skeins of blue Malabrigo to make a cabled scarf, but then I thought I should save the blue for a 2-color brioche. Unfortunately, that leaves me with the 1 purple skein. What do I do with it? I am still sorting this out. Maybe I will go with a blue cabled scarf. We'll see.

Other Knitting Things
Tuesday night, Porkchop and I went to Suzi's to watch the Blues game. Later in the evening Suzi's neighbors came over. The son is in his early 20s and is the most amazing knitting EVER.

He flew threw 12 rounds of a 2-color stranded sweater with a design he made based on Turkish patterns. And, of course, he did this all while talking, watching the TV, and not consulting a pattern.

I hid my 2-color brioche attempt under the coffee table.

For most of this week, my abdomen felt like I had done 10,000 crunches. I blamed this on falling, but maybe it was from the new power yoga programs that I did over the weekend. Hard to tell.

I think the deep bruise on my right leg and the sores in my mouth are from falling. Also, back and neck pain.

This Weekend
Porkchop works for 4 hours on Saturday. I don't know what else this weekend will hold. Maybe we'll go out for an inexpensive meal. Maybe Everest Café. It would be a dream to have dal like Himal Chuli's here in St. Louis.

Have a nice weekend!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

This is what Happens when I go to the LYS without a Plan, or What the Hell is Wrong with Me?

So....as posted previously, I picked up 3 skeins of Malabrigo on Friday. Two "azul profundo" and one "violetas."

Originally, I thought I might buy a couple skeins of Noro for an entrelac scarf, but I worried that it might be too overdone. I mean, isn't Noro an obvious choice for a first-timer's entrelac scarf?

So, I decided on Malabrigo. But I couldn't settle on the colors for the longest time. After thinking that I should take a break from green for a while, I picked blue and purple. That would look nice, right?

After falling yesterday, I set out to learn entrelac. Only, I found that I didn't want an entrelac scarf. A bag maybe, someday, but not a scarf.

What to do with the yarn?

Ah, the two-color brioche scarf in Weekend Knitting, the scarf that I've always wanted to make. So, I struggled through the I-cord cast-on, messed up a few rows, but kept going until I got it right.

It's pretty.

But I don't like it.

The blue and purple don't contrast enough. I NEED GREEN! Or orange or a light brown. Anything but blue and purple.

So, I'm going to rip it tonight and start on Sheldon. Then, once January is over, I'll buy a couple more skeins of Malabrigo in a proper color and start over with the scarf.


The problem is that I went to Knitorious on a lark, without an exact project in mind (besides Sheldon), overwhelmed by the yarn, and pressured by the 20% off.

Monday, January 01, 2007

So This is the New Year, eh?

Based on the perfect nature of this past weekend, I was convinced that 2007 would be terrific. Unfortunately, my hopes came crashing down today.

Friday Afternoon and Night
My center's director dismissed us early, so Suzi picked me up for some yarn shopping at Knitorious. I walked away with 3 skeins of Malabrigo and 2 of Cascade Sierra (for Sheldon, the knitted turtle in Knitty). Yay!

Friday night, Porkchop and I went to Cats at the Fox. Cats! I had never seen it before, and I enjoyed it well enough, especially when the kid behind us kept on singing.

Oh, also, Porkchop picked up a new digital camera, something we've been wanting for a while now. Sony Cybershot something (6 megapixels). Fun!

Yay! Rooster! Porkchop and I enjoyed crêpes for brunch. Mine was egg, roasted garlic, and gruyere. Very tasty, although a bit heavy on the roasted garlic. The crêpes themselves were quite perfect. While we enjoyed our food, I have a few tips for the owners: use real silverware (nothing detracts from a good meal like plastic ware), use real cups when coffee/chai orders are to-sit, hire a proofreader (besides the website spelling errors, there's a sign labeled "recyclebles" in the restaurant), and iron out the kinks in the order-up system (quickly!).

Here's the outside of Rooster:

outside Rooster

Here's me waiting for food and drinking a chai:

waiting for food

Here's me about to eat:


After eating, we went to the budget cinema to see Stranger than Fiction. Very enjoyable movie.

Next up, we stopped by a wine shop to pick up a riesling and my most favorite, Saracco Moscato d'Asti. The rest of Saturday was dedicated to cleaning and straightening our apartment.

Porkchop did some yoga with me! I hope she wasn't too discouraged her first time.

After more apartment cleaning (we've removed all holiday vestiges now), we made up a grocery list. Since January is officially Buy Nothing But Essentials month, we decided to treat ourselves to Trader Joe's and Whole Foods (since we will need quality food to stop us from eating at restaurants), but we changed our plans to Trader Joe's and Dierberg's (so Porkchop could pick up a sugar-cereal and Jell-O).

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that I'm frustrated and agitated by the grocery store situation in St. Louis.

Well, after we found Blue Sky orange creme soda at Dierberg's, I said to Porkchop, I like Dierberg's, and then I started to cry a little. In the Dierberg's natural foods aisle.

It is such a relief to be able to purchase all items at one store. I guess I should try to be more European and purchase food items several times a week at multiple stores, but I can't! Not when I have to drive so far in between places. Dierberg's is a little bit more expensive, but I think it might be worth it. I mean, we don't have to go there all the time, maybe just every few weeks.

Suzi came over for dinner Sunday night. We had Parrano cheese (yum!) and grapes for before dinner snacking. Dinner itself was porkchops with sage-cider-cream sauce and roasted potatoes. After eating, we played a few hands of rummy, and then Suzi left for other New Year's Eve destinations.

Porkchop and I continued to play cards for the night, taking breaks for ice cream and drinks. Unfortunately, I was too sugared out from my fudge brownie sundae to thoroughly enjoy the moscato d'asti. Maybe I will drink more of it tonight. It's too lovely for it to go to waste (and it cost $20).

Porkchop and I were both secretly freaked out last night from the celebratory gunshots. I think we've read too much about stray bullets killing people sitting in their houses.

New Year's Day started out well with us purchasing plane tickets for April and going on a walk in Tower Grove Park. It was there that the new year went downhill.

But here are I am early in our walk:

happy at the park

So, Tower Grove has some work out stations scattered throughout the park. The wooden ones are in a bit of disrepair, but the metal ones are still just fine. In the fall, we played some on the rings. This time, we saw the parallel bars and stopped by for funsies.

After Porkchop did her bit, I stepped up and swung back and forth a couple of times. I was going to try to walk the length of the bars - you know how you can swing your body side-to-side and travel the length of the bars? - but I decided against it once I started trying. The handwarmers I was wearing were messing me up, and things weren't quite right.

I don't know what happened next. My theory is that my handwarmers caused my hands and arms to stay too far behind my torso, which then caused my torso to tip forward, my legs to swing up, and me to face-plant in the ground below.

Yes, I fell while playing on parallel bars at the park. I remember my chest hitting the ground, hearing Porkchop yell Shit!, and then my face smashing into the dirt (thankfully dirt). But, I don't remember why this happened. Crazy.

Porkchop helped me up and brushed the clumps of dirt off my face while I spit dirt out of my mouth and cried. After the numbness wore off my nose, I realized it didn't hurt so much. I managed to walk away with a few little cuts on my chin and nose (inside and outside my nose) and damaged dignity.


Here I am when we arrived back at the apartment:

scratched and dirty

Porkchop said she wished she could have taken a picture earlier, when I still had dirt clumps on my face and was crying.

When we got back to the apartment, Porkchop washed the dirt off my face and cleaned my cuts with alcohol (ow!). After I took a long shower, Porkchop gave me a little massage. I'm a bit sore from the impact, and I think I'll have a headache for a while.

And did I mention the damaged dignity?

Here is Porkchop's depiction of what she saw happen:


Stupid 2007.

I am staying inside for the rest of the day. I might knit, but I'm worried that I will impale myself on my needles.

Happy New Year!