A Good Yarn

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Only 3 days left

Despite my best efforts to be productive on Friday, I didn't get all that much done. I ended up having lunch with Beth and Bill at Fabulous Fern's, and that took a big chunk out of the middle of the day.

I got my most recent purchase from Joann's, this fabric knitting kit:

Should be a fun and easy little knit.

I went out for dinner to India Palace with my friend Kathy and then we saw this movie:

I liked it. Jamie Foxx was amazing as Ray Charles - he really captured his speech patterns and movements, but still seemed in the moment and real, not just an imitator. The music, of course, was fabulous. The movie really only goes until 1966, all before I was born, so I was unfamiliar with this part of the Ray Charles story. He was quite accomplished and did amazing things, but at the same time was a very flawed man. It's nice to see a movie that isn't afraid to show both sides of that.

Afterwards we went to Barnes & Noble and I browsed through the knitting books section. I found a few books that I really liked, so when I got home I checked Overstock and they had them all in stock, for much cheaper. Love that place!

Friday, October 29, 2004

4 Days to Go

5 days left until the election. I can't wait. It's going to be a busy time, but hopefully we'll know who has won on 11/3.

Wednesday night my friend Florence and I took a class at The Bead Monkey. Here's what I made:

Cute, isn't it? The color is a bit off - it's redder than it looks in the photo. Although I've worked with wire a lot, I haven't done a lot of wrapping, so I really need to work on my wrapping. I may put some beads or charms on the jump rings at the back too.

I also finished one of the cuffs for Matt's mom:

The diamonds are silver beads, not white. I don't know why my colors are so off these days. Maybe just the cloudiness. It's pretty warm today though, which is nice!

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Busy Weekend!

After I posted my last real blog entry, I started one of the busiest Saturdays I've ever had. I headed over to William Mitchell College of Law for an Election Protection training. It re-affirmed why I dislike so many of my fellow lawyers. I am very worried about how messy this election (ONE WEEK FROM TODAY) is going to be. There was a story in the New York Times on Saturday about the Republican Party's effort to put challengers in every precinct in Ohio cities with a large "urban" (read black) population. There was also a television news story last night about the many challengers the Republican party is planning to send to polls right here in Minnesota. I'm pretty sure those guys aren't going to be challenging the voters in Edina and Woodbury. My greatest fear is that all of this challenging will create long lines and people will decide not to vote because it takes too long. PLEASE don't let the election be manipulated like that - You have the right to vote!!!

A couple of my law school friends attended the same training, so we went out for lunch at Cafe Latte afterwards and chatted. At 2:00, there was a reading by Augusten Burroughs at Bound to be Read. I got there at 1:35 and all of the chairs were taken and there was already a huge crowd around the table he was going to sit at. I decided to tough it out anyway, but about 15 minutes later a book seller said to make sure you had a red ticket if you wanted your book signed, as they would line up according to your number on the ticket. I realized that I would have no chance to get my book signed without a really long wait in line, so I gave up on that idea. I went into the cafe, where they had a big screen tv set up to show Mr. Burroughs, and tried out the new CD burning station and listened to the reading. After he finished the reading, I went up to the cash register to pay for my new CD and heard, "Hi, Renee". At first I didn't recognize him, then I realized it was one of my best buddies from high school. I was a big debate geek and we were on the debate team together. It's been at least 15 years since I last saw him. So cool!!

The reason I was in such a hurry to get out of BTBR was I wanted to check out the Stitch to Win event at the Mall of America. The Mall was absolutely jam packed. I may not go back again until 1/15, unless it's during the middle of a work day. I thought the event would be bigger than it was, so I headed for the rotunda. Not there. I make my way around the Mall of America and finally find them in one of the Department Store Courts. (Nordstrom?) Anyway, there wasn't a speaker when I got there - it was a woman playing piano and singing. None of the speakers sounded all that enticing, so I decided not to stick around for long. I checked out all of the tables and picked up a "Learn to Needlepoint" kit for a small donation. I thought about stopping by the Needlepoint table and having someone show me how to do it, but I wanted to just get out of there, so I'll have to figure it out on my own. On the way out to the car, I found a tweedy jacket that I really liked. Tweed is really in this fall, but a lot of the jackets I've found in my size have fringe, a look I don't really like. I found a cute tweed suit that fit and then since it was on sale, I got a long tweed jacket. I didn't even plan to add shopping to my list this weekend, but since I was walking right past it and I had been looking for a while....

In the evening, I volunteered to help at the Artwear in Motion show. The show was pretty cool, but it seems hard for me to believe that anyone would wear most of that stuff. It is art, though, so perhaps people buy it to support the artists and display it. I actually knew one of the artists from a workshop I took at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts when they had the Kaffe Fassett exhibition, so I wanted to ask her if she thought a buyer would wear her pieces, which were knit from copper wire and other materials. But, I thought that might be gauche, so I didn't. Here are some pictures from last year's show, to give you an idea of the type of materials they display.

Sunday was, of course, a football day. We cheered the Vikings on to victory and came out of the Metrodome to a glorious, sunny day. It's a day like that where you wish there was an outdoor stadium. Of course, on 12/24 I'll probably be glad to be sitting inside the teflon dome.

Yesterday John Cusack was in town to campaign for John Kerry at a lot of the local colleges. I would have LOVED to see him, but unfortunately I had two hearings yesterday, so I couldn't make it :-(. I could have worn my Cusack for President button. I did manage to work some more with my waning supplies of pink yarn last night:

Almost done with the first sleeve, but that's the last ball of yarn I have. It doesn't look so purpleish- the other photos I've posted are more accurate. I was out earlier than usual taking my photos this morning, so I didn't have a lot of light. I did snap a couple of Finbar, though. Here's an action shot of him running:

And here's one of him as I'm calling out his name to come inside.

Your nonchalance does not fool me dog, I KNOW YOU CAN HEAR ME!!!!

Sunday, October 24, 2004

What Classic Movie Are You?

I'm not sure how accurate it is, but it's my all time favorite movie, so I had to post it.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Warning: Graphic Description Ahead

This week has once again been exhausting. After the election, I'm gonna spend some time just cleaning the house, knitting and watching tv - at least until after Thanksgiving, when the Christmas craziness begins.

Wednesday night I took a holiday card class at Archivers. I'm not starting my cards yet, but I thought it would be a good idea to take the class before it starts getting really hectic and busy. They had some cute ideas, but a lot of the supplies aren't in the store yet. I think I liked the cards from last year better, so I may use some of those ideas instead. We made one sample card and one sample tag in class that are pretty cute. It seems ribbons are the big embellishment on cards this year. I did get a chance to use the acrylic paint that is big right now - still don't particularly like the look, though.

All the kids are out of school for MEA, so I took my niece and nephew to the zoo on Thursday. They were having a special program on Wolves, since there are new baby wolves at the zoo. I had to write a court report for a hearing on Friday morning, so I ended up having to work in the morning and we missed a lot of the activities, but the Imax movie was really good. I think we all had a good time.

I was supposed to take a beading class in the evening, but I got a call in the morning that I was the only person signed up, so the class was cancelled. So, footloose and fancy free, I decided to attend the John Kerry rally outside Metrodome. I got a call from my friend, Jackie, that she had VIP tickets, if I wanted to go with her - well, of course! How lucky was that? The line was wrapped all the way around Metrodome, and we didn't have to stand in line at all - we went right to the very thorough security check. We had orange tickets, so we were told to stand in the orange section, which was right beside the stage - we were about 5-6 rows from Mr. Kerry. In fact, the woman in front of me was able to shake his hand when he was leaving the stage. Since it was such a huge crowd and I'm so short, I didn't really realize how close we were until I saw these pictures from a link on my friend, Michael's, blog.

Wow! There were 30,000 people there - it was the largest political rally in Minnesota history. I really, really hope that's a good omen for the election. Mr. Kerry gave his usual stump speech - many of the phrases were familiar from the 3 debates. There were a number of speakers before the candidate. The best was Keith Ellison. He is guaranteed my support if he ever decides to run for Governor or the Senate. If you're interested, here's more info about him.

So, it was a great rally, and I'm glad I went, but I wasn't as energized by it as the Vote for Change concert. I'm sure part of it is the power of rock n roll - it gets you excited much better than a speech, no matter how much you agree with the content of the speech. Part of it is the crowd - I'm not a big fan of crowds. They make me anxious. And part of it was my ever-increasing headache. I thought perhaps it was because I hadn't eaten dinner, so Jackie and I went out of dinner at Azia. I had the cranberry curry, which I can highly recommend. However, I still didn't feel good, so we headed on out. When I got back to my car, I took a couple of asprin - and this is where it gets graphic, so stop reading now if you don't like disgusting things - and three blocks later I threw up all over the inside of my car. I managed to pull over the car, but I didn't have time to open the door. It's the worst ever!!!!! I spent quite a bit of time on Friday trying to clean out the car and get rid of the smell, but no luck so far. If you have any sage advice, please send it over.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Thank You!

Thanks to everyone who has left such nice comments about my Cable T. It's fun to finish something and be admired!

I did manage to finish the first of my thrummed mittens. As you can see from the photo, I figured out how to knit the thrums in better, and the top half looks much better than the bottom half. Just think how good the second mitten is going to be :-)

Book Club was fun, as usual. We got a pretty good discussion about childhood and small towns going in discussing "A Brief History of the Flood". There are 8 people in our book club and everyone was there at the same time for the first time (we started out with just 4 members about 3-4 years ago). I'd say 4 people loved it, 3 of us liked it, and 1 person didn't like it. That's a pretty good mix. I don't know what the next book we're reading is yet - it was Teresa's turn to choose and she forgot the title.

My brother and I went to the BPT to watch the Vikings game on Sunday night. It was a good, high-scoring game, which is the kind I like. I'd like it even better if the defense actually stopped the other team from scoring more often. I went about 50-50 on my fantasy leagues this week, but I won in the league where I'm Commish - and I was playing the old Commish, who I LOVE to beat.

Monday night I went out for beers and dinner with my cool co-worker, Matt, and Bill. We went to Mannings, which is my favorite kind of bar - a neighborhood bar. Very low key.

Last night I watched my nephew and we went to see this:

I didn't really care for it. I liked the animation, but the script just wasn't very funny. Michael liked it though, so I guess that's all that matters.

I'll leave you with a picture of Fiona, who wanted me to finish taking a picture of my mitten and let her in for a treat:

Sunday, October 17, 2004

What Did You Expect?

When I meet other knitters in a Yarn Store, I'm going to end up buying yarn. Needed? No, of course not. Desired? Absolutely.

TCAK get together yesterday at Borealis Yarns. They were very nice to allow us to use their big table at the front of the store for our gathering in between their Saturday classes. Luckily, only 4 of us were gathered, otherwise we may not have all fit. The coffee shop next door (which is delightful and they allowed us to bring food and drink into the yarn shop) has a couple of big sofas, so we could have moved over there with 6 people. We're probably going to move around from month to month though. I think that would only be fair, considering some folks are from the far eastern metro and some from the far western metro.

I didn't get all that much knitting done, mostly because I was late getting there and then I was distracted by all the great books and yarn around me. Here's what I got:

I love Lara, which many bloggers have been making, but the cost would be prohibitive to make one big enough for me. Plus, I'd have to do all the math to upsize it. So, I bought 6 skeins and I'll make some sort of scarf - perhaps out of my new Scarf Style book. This yarn is absolutely heavenly!

I always got this:

Couldn't resist the sparkles! I'll probably make some socks.

Then this:

I was thinking about using this for some beaded cuffs, which will be appearing in this space shortly, but I may use some Debbie Bliss Cashmerino instead. We'll see.

Afterwards, Kerry and I went over to Depth of Field so she could get some additional yarn for a poncho she's knitting and be tempted by other projects. I found some pink cotton that isn't quite the same color I need for the Florentine Flattery, but it's close, so I'm ordering it just in case I find nothing better. I saw an old friend, Sandi there too, which was awesome. I haven't seen her in a long time so it was great to catch up a little. I bought nothing else, so I was proud of myself!

I then headed over to the "I Love a Deal"/Target Direct Warehouse Sale. Years ago these sales were awesome - they included a number of catalogs, including the Wireless catalog, and had great clothes, gifts, jewelry, etc. Once Target bought them out, things kind of went downhill. They keep saying it's going to be the last one, but they keep having them. There really wasn't much and what there was wasn't priced very low, but electronics were half price, so I got a digital camera for a pretty good, though not great, price.

When I finally got home, I was exhausted, but I wanted to cook and take a picture for the Bloggers Cookbook. I made Saigon Beef and it didn't turn out very well - OF COURSE. I cut up a haberno chile and then touched my face and it was BURNING UP!! Even today it burns if I touch my lips or eyes, or whatever - use rubber gloves if handling habanero chiles!

Saturday, October 16, 2004

I've been RAOK'ed!!

I got the most incredible package from Lisa B. She totally rocks!!!

I ripped open the envelope and found this:

If you look closely at the bottom left corner of the Hot Tamales, you can see that I've already ripped open the box and chowed down on some. I hadn't had time for lunch and was starving, so I couldn't help myself. Chocolate is my true love (well, maybe yarn, but chocolate is definitely my first love) so the chocolate is much appreciated. I regularly go on Hot Tamales binges, though. It's my favorite non-chocolate candy - I'm amazed that Lisa would somehow know that. The cute little Halloween baggie is filled with Halloween candies - chocolate and peanut butter candies. I found the baggie inside of this:

Isn't that brown velvet purse divine? I just love it! I feel like I'm straight out of Jane Austen when I hold it. The Yarn Cutter Pendant fits in with the theme, as well. I've always wanted to try one of those.

Included in the package was the cutest card:

Thanks so much for your generosity, Lisa. It was truly appreciated!!

I got this yarn from ebay:

Yes, it is almost the same color as my Cable T. I'm obsessed with that color right now, thank you very much. When I first started knitting, Dale was one of my favorite yarn companies. I made a Debbie Bliss sweater for Bill's sister's baby from Dale Kolibri and loved it. This green was one of the accent colors, so I had a partial skein left. I've run across it in my stash a few times and wished I had more, but Kolibri was discontinued several years ago. Kolibri is almost identical to the yarn I'm using for Florentine Flattery, so in my quest to find yarn to finish this sweater, I searched ebay for pink Kolibri and also found this green. I'm so excited!

Last night I saw this movie:

Loved it!! It's so well written and the actors were fantastic - a great cast. It started very quickly and I was sort of lost and thought, "Oh, I don't like this movie, it's too artsy." Soon, however, it won me over with it's great humor and the clever way everything fit together. We all agreed that we wanted to see it again, now that we've figured out who everyone is, etc. It's hilariously funny, but the sadness behind the humor is also evident. The funniest part is played by Peter O'Toole, one of my favorite actors.

After the movie, we had dinner at Levain. It's a beautiful restaurant, but I personally think it's overrated. I had the duck, the breast was delicious. I didn't care for the leg/thigh, however. It was removed from the bone and shredded. I'm not much of a dark meat, fan, though. There was a butternut squash flan on the side, which was pretty bland. For dessert we shared a couple of flourless chocolate torts. They were good.

Friday, October 15, 2004


No posts for this week again. Yikes, time flies! When I last left you, I was hoping for a victory for the Vikings. Despite a very Minnesotan choke job at the end, the Vikes did manage to pull off the game. Yeah!! At least something was salvaged of the weekend.

I managed to get a picture of the Cable T taken:

It was a lovely day and very comfortable, although perhaps not the most flattering thing in my wardrobe. I'll probably wear it pretty regularly next spring, though. I had a chance to go to the zoo on Monday and see the animals and the beautiful fall colors. It's one of my favorite things about living in Minnesota.

Here's a close up so you can see how pretty those leaves really are:

We had a pretty windy spell a couple of weeks ago, so the trees aren't as full this year as usual, but it's still beautiful. Several days this week I've driven through residential areas and it's just taken my breath away, seeing the reds, yellows and oranges of all the trees lining the streets. I've often wanted to try to knit something to capture those colors.

Unfortunately, it turned cold and stormy yesterday, and now this is what it looks like out my front door:

The leaves are still pretty even though they're on the ground, but probably not for long:

I probably won't be able to wear the Cable T again this year, but luckily I've already started another knit along:

This is the work I got done on Monday night. The yellow of the mittens was really clashing with the green of my Cable T. Plus I kept poking the DPN into the hole between the cables down the middle.

I was not happy with how that mitten was turning out. As you can see, I was not getting nice little "v"s for the thrums. I took a look at the other bloggers in the knitalong and saw lots of beautiful, neat little "v"s and got depressed. I considered frogging the whole thing, but I really loved how soft the inside of the mitten was. Last night I worked on it again and figured out I was wrapping the thrums the wrong way. I wrapped them a different way and got much better "v"s. I probably should have frogged and started over, but I decided that would be annoying and the half good/half bad mitten would remind me of my knitting progress and make me proud. I finished all but the tip of the thumb on the first mitten. Man is that warm!! It'll be great for shoveling the soon to be appearing snow.

I have also been working on the sleeve of the Florentine Flattery. It's going to take both skeins to finish the first sleeve, leaving me short 2 skeins for the second sleeve and at least 1 skein for the button band. I'm still not sure what I'm going to do about that, but I'm continuing on. I am going to finish it, even if I have to have one sleeve in a lighter pink than the other.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

What Kind of Knitter Are You?

Knitting Guru
You appear to be a Knitting Guru. You love knitting
and do it all the time. While finishing a piece
is the plan, you still love the process, and
can't imagine a day going by without giving
some time to your yarn. Packing for vacation
involves leaving ample space for the stash and
supplies. It can be hard to tell where the yarn
ends and you begin.

What Kind of Knitter Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Sunday, October 10, 2004

See, I'm Being a Good Girl

And posting more regularly, with a shorter entry. I love weekends!

I didn't schedule any social activities for this entire weekend so I could stay home, get some cleaning done around the house, catch up on some tv shows I've taped and, of course, knit.

Unfortunately, my sports obsession intruded on the first two activities. I got a little bit of cleaning done and watched a couple of shows, but mostly I was watching Minnesota sports at its most typical - crushing the hopes and dreams of Minnesota sports fans everywhere.

First, the Gophers choke away a 10 point 4th quarter lead to Michigan, thus making the Rose Bowl very unlikely. Then the Twins give away a 4 run lead to the hated Yankees and end up losing in the 11th inning. Off a run by that poster boy of Yankees financial dominance, A-Rod. I hate the Yankees! At least the Gopher hockey team won a meaningless game. I'm hoping the Vikings can manage to salvage what could have been a magical weekend from the depths of despair.

I managed to finish the other front on the Florentine Flattery and start the sleeves. Since I haven't posted a picture of Flor in a while, here's the sleeve:

The sleeve is just moss stitch with a little cable going up the middle:

I had to break into one skein to finish up the front, so I have just a little bit less than 2 balls left for the 2 sleeves and the button band. I KNOW I'm not going to have enough to do all that, but I'm hoping each sleeve will only take on skein. We'll see. I found a yarn that looks exactly the same as this at The Yarnery, but the color is slightly different. I'll definitely use it for the button band and not worry about the off color, but it wouldn't be good for finishing the sleeves. I've thought about getting the Mandarin Petit and doubling it - I'm sure the color wouldn't be exactly the same though. Why didn't I buy an extra skein? Oh yeah, because I didn't have much money and didn't want to pay for an extra skein. Dumb, dumb girl.

I also did some tv watching. The fall season is in full swing again. So far I'm not in love with any of the new shows. The one with the most potential is "Lost." It's very intriguing and different, which is what I most like in a tv show. So far I really like it a lot, but I can see where it might jump the shark pretty early and I'm really not sure how they're going to sustain it for several years if it is a hit. I also enjoyed the first episode of "Desperate Housewives". Great cast. Off-beat. Also could be too zany though, so I'm waiting for a few more episodes to really decide.

"CSI:NY" is solid, of course. I love the police procedural type shows, so I watch them all, but none of them really stand out more than the others, to me. Too much the same.

In the just ok category: "Boston Legal" also "zany" and I'm not sure I'm going to like David E. Kelly's weird legal antics (I grew tired of Ally McBeal after a couple of seasons), but I love James Spader, so I'm giving it a try. "Clubhouse" looks pretty hokey, but I'm giving it more of a try, mainly because I love the cast. "Dr. Vegas" is about what you'd think, but I'm a Joey Pants and Rob Lowe fan, so I'll watch it until it's cancelled, which may be soon. "LAX" is campy fun. Paul Leyden from "As The World Turns" is on it and he's dreamy. Blair Underwood and Heather Locklear are gorgeous. "Medical Investigation" is kind of boring, but I'll continue to watch it for Neal McDonough, pretending like it's "Boomtown", one of my favorite shows that was cancelled way too prematurely.

"Complete Savages" was trash. "Listen Up" was trash, which bummed me out because I love Tony Kornheiser and would love a cool, funny show that really reflected his columns. Unfortunately, Jason Alexander is no Tony K. and the daughter character was like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. "Father of the Pride", "Hawaii" and "Joey" were all really bad. I was prepared to like Joey, but it's just not funny.

In old shows news: "Nip/Tuck" just finished it's season on a high note. I love that show and can't wait for next season. "The Wire" is, as usual, fascinating. I'm patiently waiting for "Arrested Development" to begin again.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

What a Week!

It's been a week since I last posted, but oh, what a week. This is going to be a long posting, so I apologize in advance to those who prefer their blogs short, but sweet.

The week started with a bang when I won all of my fantasy football games. First time this season. I'm starting to work my way up the ranks in the league where I'm Commish, but I have a feeling that's all going to come to a grinding halt this week. I play against my brother. And he has Daunte Culpepper. I HATE losing to my brother. But I gotta cheer for Daunte to kick ass. Why didn't I draft Daunte myself, why?

Monday seemed like a normal enough day. Bill, Red and I had our usual Monday lunch and then I took Red to the Reptile Store to look at the snakes, lizards and frogs. This was all poor planning on my part, however, because I forgot I had a really busy week and should have been getting work done. I had to leave work early to meet a friend for dinner at Black Forest Inn. We enjoyed absolutely wonderful Beef Stroganoff with Spaetzel and sat and talked for hours. It was a great night, but unfortunately, I realized what my schedule was for Tuesday and Wednesday too late.

Tuesday was a very "booked" day. And I had a hearing on Wednesday morning, which I needed to write a report for. If I had been smart, I would have written it on Monday, but I didn't think that far ahead. So, I was hoping I could squeeze a little time in between appointments on Tuesday. No dice. I didn't get out of court in the morning until about 12:15, so I had to jump in the car and drive down to Shakopee. I did manage to get to my 1:00 meeting before it started. I decided to cancel my home visit that afternoon so I could get back to the office after the meeting and write the report. No problem - home visit rescheduled. Unfortunately, the counselor called and asked if she could meet with us and I hadn't spoken to her about how things were going. It was a great meeting and I got a lot of good info, but I didn't get out of there until after 5:00. Well, why not just go back to the office and write the report then, you ask? Because I had plans for the evening. My brother was picking me up at my house at 6:15 so we could go see this:

Yes, I went to the Vote for Change concert at Xcel Energy Center. And it was totally awesome!! It was so motivational to be in a big group of people who have a similar world view, similar cares and concerns about the world. Bright Eyes started off the night. I wasn't familiar with him and he's not really my cup of tea. Then R.E.M. played. Love R.E.M. This is my 5th time seeing them. They were very solid. It was obvious that the vast majority of the crowd was there to see Springsteen. R.E.M. played a mix of their new stuff (haven't picked up that album yet) and some oldies but goodies. Neil Young surprised us with an appearance on guitar, wearing a "Canadians for Kerry" button. Springsteen played a couple of songs with R.E.M., including a great rendition of "Man on the Moon." I was left wanting more R.E.M.

Then Springsteen & the E Street Band took the stage. I also love Springsteen and this was my 4th time seeing them. The very first internet list I joined was a Springsteen list. Love Bruce. And he was awesome. This is clearly something he really cares about and he's put his heart and soul into the music. There was so much energy in that place! Neil Young came back on and played some songs and one of the encores was everyone playing "Keep on Rockin in the Free World." It was magnificent!! John Fogarty also joined Springsteen for a few songs. When he took the stage he announced the Twins beat the Yankees, 2-0 and launched into "Centerfield", a song I don't really like, but it now will always remind me of that great night. It was just unbelievably great. I did go out into the hallways in between sets to catch a little of the Twins game and their win over the hated Yankees just was like icing on cake. Here's another photo from the concert - Michael Stipe was doing that dancing during the encores:

The final Vote for Change show is going to be broadcast on Monday night on Sundance Channel and on the net on real.com. I highly recommend watching it!

After 5 hours of fantastic music, we headed over to The Liffey for a drink while the traffic cleared out - I hate sitting in a parking ramp, waiting to leave. Finally headed over to the office and wrote my report. Got home around 4:00 a.m. Not a real problem for a nightowl like me, but the next morning it was really, really hard to get up.

Luckily, the hearing was relatively easy - unlike the last time, there were no admonishments from the Judge, only civilized arguments by the attorneys, no tears from the parents. After getting a few things done in the office I went home early and took a nap. My internal clock was all messed up and I don't think I'm back on track yet. I did manage to finish up some knitting I was doing for my Secret Pal and RAOKs.

Thursday was a relatively easy day, though I did have some plans with Bill and Red in the afternoon. I managed to catch up on all the email I had missed over the past couple of days, but I still hadn't looked at any blogs. I'm catching up with that now. In the evening, I got some knitting in and finished the Cable T. Here's some proof:

I'll post a real picture when I can get someone to take it for me - probably on Monday. I think it turned out ok. It's a little bulkier than I like to wear for a summery sweater, so I think I'll mostly wear it in the spring and fall. I don't think I'll be making another sweater for myself with the Lion Brand Microspun. I didn't mind knitting with it, but it is a little too acrylicy for my tastes. I think it's a great choice for kids stuff, though, because it's so soft and it comes in such great colors.

Friday brought a really, really nice surprise - a package from my Secret Pal. My original Secret Pal just sort of disappeared, so my new and improved Secret Pal moved from her to me. Thanks for pinch hitting, new and improved Secret Pal! She hit a home run with this package!!! First, it was all wrapped in pretty tissue paper, so it was like a birthday present, which I loved. Second, her choices were PERFECT! I got this:

I love candles and have them burning in my home almost every night. With two dogs, it gets a little smelly around the house, so scented candles, air freshener and incense are musts. These are awesome. I had them sitting on my desk next to me all afternoon, enjoying the scents. I think the Lilac is my favorite one.

But wait, that's not all. She also sent me this:

One of my all-time favorite yarns! And in Vikings colors! Yeah!!!! I love "Touch Me". It's so soft and cuddly. And comes in great colors. Love it, love it, love it. The thing that's so funny is that I went to The Yarnery in the morning to pick up some goodies for my Secret Pal and while I was there, I looked through "Scarf Style", a book I've been reading about a lot on various blogs. I really liked it, but the pattern that sealed the deal was a cabled scarf made with "Touch Me". So I already know what I'm doing with this yarn!!!

Secret Pal, you rock!! thank you so much! I had read other people's posts about how great their SPs were, but I wondered if they were just being polite, but now I know. Somehow, your SP really does get inside your head and figure out what you like and totally makes you feel special. Now why can't my mother and father figure out how to do that?

While watching the debate, I finally started my thrum-along mitten. I didn't get to the thrumming part, but here's the cuff:

I'm using the Cascade 220 for the first time and I love it. It's really, really nice to knit with and is going to be nice and soft against my wrists. I got to use my swift for the first time and wind that yarn into a ball - so glad I bought it!

I finally finished "A Brief History of the Flood." I really liked it. It's a series of episodes in a girl's life, so it's really like a group of short stories with the same characters, rather than a novel. It's really easy to read, but well written. I thought it was very realistic - it makes you wonder how much of it is true to the author's life. I liked how the issues of alcoholism, domestic abuse, mental illness, etc. were dealt with in a very realistic way, rather than a melodramatic way. It's the type of problems many people have in their families and no one knows about. I decided to return to my true love, mysteries, and started the latest of one my favorite series:

And that's the week that was. If you're reading this far down, thanks for sticking with it. I promise to be a more faithful correspondent in the future!

Sunday, October 03, 2004

It's October already?

When I was a girl, my grandparents always talked about how the older you get, the faster time goes. I thought this was some sort of old-person hoo-ha, but it turns out, they're right. It seems like about March to me, not October.

I know it's October, though, because I watched a presidential debate on Thursday. And I've been seeing the most dreadful commercials on tv. The one that really makes me mad is the one that starts out with, "They want to kill us." It includes pictures of John Kerry that make him look like Osama bin Laden - really dark shadows under the eyes and deep scowl. I hate that kind of fear-mongering.

However you're going to vote, please do so! It's really important. Yesterday I went through the training for Election Protection. I'll encourage you again to get involved in this and make sure everyone has the opportunity to vote. But at the very least, PLEASE VOTE!!!

I also know it's October because I'm unpacking winter clothes (instead of unpacking spring clothes). It got incredibly cold on Friday, so I finally broke down and brought up one box of winter clothes. This is how I switch out the wardrobe with the seasons - gradually, one box at a time. Before I did that though, I didn't really have appropriate clothes to wear, so I was wearing an "elbow-sleeves" sweater. I was freezing after the sun went down, until I slipped on my leather coat. I love the feel of the weight of the leather and the smell of it. Made me really glad it's October! Bill and I also went to Fabulous Fern's for lunch and ordered off the Oktoberfest menu - a couple of cups of a lentil and sausage soup with a brat boiled in beer on the side. Sehr gut and very comforting as well.

After the training yesterday, I made my first trip to Ikea. Loved the goods, hated shopping there. It was so very, very crowded. I waited until October to make my first trip, hoping that the crowds would have dissipated by now, but no such luck. At least not on a Saturday afternoon. For those who have never been there, Ikea is set up so that you walk through it on a path around the store, walking through one room at a time - bathrooms, kitchens, offices, etc. Everyone walks through there like a freakin' zombie, so I was very, very irritated and felt a great urge to continuously say, hurry up, hurry up, hurry up. Not my usual shopping joy. I did manage to find a duvet cover, but it wasn't my first choice. The one I really wanted was only available in twin size - way too small. I bought a few other small items and my brother got a shelving unit and some plants for his new place. Overall, a successful trip, but I think next time I'm going to try going in the middle of a work day.

Last night I saw this:

I'd give it a mixed review. John Sayles is one of my all-time favorite directors, so I was really excited to see this. Unfortunately, it's not one of his best movies. It's pretty funny and of course, the message is really good - about how the power brokers manipulate the laws to line their own pockets. If you can see that cast list at the top of the poster, you can see it's a fantastic cast. I loved how everyone was linked to each other in one way or another. I really didn't like the casting of the main character, Danny. I really didn't buy him as the love of Maria Bello's life, the empassioned journalist who is trying to sell out and just get by. He kind of looks like Vincent D'Onofrio, so I was thinking he might be better. Then I thought of Tim Robbins. I finally decided the perfect choice would have been John Cusak. He's much more attractive and charming as a leading man and could easily play both the obsessed do-gooder and the down on his luck loser who always shoots himself in the foot. Chris Cooper is solid, as always, as Dickie Pillager. I missed Sayles regular David Straithern, though.