A Good Yarn

Sunday, March 20, 2005

I Heart Home

A rare day at home today for me. I love it. I should probably go outside and enjoy the sunny weather, which is melting all of the snow from Friday's "blizzard", but I have so much to get done around here. The state of my housekeeping is truly shocking.

Renee's Restaurant Reviews

On Friday night we were supposed to have our bi-monthly movie night, but because of the snow, we decided to skip the movie and just have dinner. We went to Pad Thai on Grand Avenue, which I had never been to before. It's a very nice, casual restaurant. I love Thai food and this place has a huge menu. I had Drunken Noodles, which is a noodle dish (obviously) served in a wine and basil sauce. Delicious! I also tried the red curry which was very tasty. The food was not quite as spicy as other Thai restaurants I've been to, so feel free to order it hot.

On Saturday night I tried another new restaurant, this time Italian. Maggiano's in Southdale Center. This is a chain restaurant, but seems to be a little better than The Olive Garden. It's decorated to look like an Italian restaurant in New York pre-World War II, which is fun. They had a flat bread with Parmesan in the bread basket that I loved - I would go back just for that bread. The dishes are HUGE. We each order half-orders and ate less than half. You could definitely share a half order. I had the Gnocchi in a vodka marinara sauce. It was good.

Matinees with Renee

OK, it wasn't a matinee, but before dinner, we saw this movie:

I liked it alot. It's a family drama about a woman (Joan Allen) and her four daughters who are abandoned by the man of the house. Mom becomes very anger and bitter and retreats into vodka. She soon gains a drinking buddy in the ex-baseball player (Kevin Costner) who has a little crush on her for years. The acting is stellar - so believable in portraying alcoholics with all the good and bad that we all have. Everything about the film is so real - it just tells the story of these people's lives in such a normal, real, non-movie-like way. There's been some debate about the ending, but I think I agree with Roger Ebert that it gives new and deeper meaning to what the film is saying.


Earlier in the day, I tried to get U2 tickets for their tour stop here in the Twin Cities in September. Unfortunately, one thing after another went wrong in a very freakish way and they ended up selling out while there were still three other people in front of me. I was so disappointed I actually started to cry. Throughout the day when I walked into a store or a gas station, I would hear U2 playing on the radio. And today I watched their induction into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. Yeah, I'm disappointed. The day before and day after the Minneapolis dates are both open, so it's possible they could add a second show. Please, please add a second show, guys. Otherwise, I'll probably try eBay. There's a lot on there right now. I hate scalpers. Almost as much as I hate Ticketmaster. One of the reasons I was shut out was there was a scalper at the beginning of the line with his 4 kids so they could each buy 8 tickets. It took quite a while to purchase 40 tickets. And of course, the kids don't have credit cards so they paid cash and wanted receipts (for his taxes, don't you know) and it all became a big muck up. No, I'm not bitter.

After that disappointment I went over to the makeup counter to pick up some foundation and "my" makeup woman was there, so she offered to clean up my eyebrows for me. Saved me $15 and a trip to the waxing salon. But of course then I felt obligated to buy more makeup. Oh well, I like to feel pretty. I met up with a friend for brunch and then we went to the Twin Cities Ample Knitters Get-together. A good time was had by all, I think, and we tried a new location, Minnehaha Coffee. This seems to be centrally located and more acceptable to more people, so we'll probably head there again. I left a little early and headed up to Yarn Cafe to check the place out. I liked it. Great concept - a coffee shop and yarn store all in one. I was still full from brunch, so I didn't eat anything, but the food looked delicious. There's a pretty good amount of seating for eating and/or knitting. There was a huge flat screen tv in the coffee shop area. The yarn selection was good. Pretty much the full selection of Debbie Bliss, some Noro, Berroco, Schaeffer, Cherry Tree Hill, some acrylic/wool blends. So a good, wide variety. For me, it was a little too geared to the novelty, hand-dyed, type yarns and not enough of your plain basic wools, cottons, sock yarns, etc. But, it's definitely worth checking out. Too bad it's so far away from me. I managed to restrain myself and didn't buy anything, but I would have bought a hat kit if they had it in the same colors as the shop model.


Unfortunately (or fortunately, really), I wasn't so restrained at our next stop, a new bead store. Insomniac Beads is my new favorite bead store. Unfortunately, it's in Plymouth so it's not exactly convenient to me, but it's definitely worth going to and I'll make a point in stopping by at every chance. They have a great variety of different beads - it's a very large store. They have the usual work room and classes, but they also have a studio which you can use to work with glass and metal. How cool is that? They also had a little area set up with a couch and some comfy chairs and a table, so you could sit and chat with friends - I've never seen that in a bead store before. They also had a couple of workstations set up nearby with small tables and a chair with the basic tools and some instruction cards for basic beading - so it seems like you could easily sit down and work on your project at any time and get help, even if there's a class going on in the work room. The staff were incredibly nice and helpful to us. Please, check them out and give them your support! I decided to make today a bead day and made a necklace and earrings to match the cuff I made for my friend's birthday:

As you can see, I added a few drop beads to the ends of the cuff too.