Friday, February 29, 2008

Is it a list if there are only two things on it? I think so.

Today's topic, films. And since I don't get much time to watch, there are only two on my radar at the moment.

1. Juliet of the Spirits had been sitting in its little red Netflix envelope for about a month. I finally broke into it last weekend. I loved it, as I knew I would. I don't love it as much as Fellini's earlier black and white, less surreal films but Giulietta Masina is a brilliant actress and anything she does...well, I'm there to love it. The over-the-top 60's Italian fashion vibe was great fun too.

2. Next up on my queue is Jules et Jim. Never seen a Truffaut film but I'm looking forward to it. I'm a little ahead on my schoolwork so I'm hoping to start it tonight, while I wind a couple skeins of yarn into balls.

Have a lovely weekend, all. Next week: green.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Today I'm Thinking About...

1. This photo from last year. I thought this image was appropriate for today, which is wonderfully warm. All we are missing are the blossoms.

2. Coming up with ideas for Emily's week o' green.

3. Dinner. Shrimp with soba, asparagus, broccoli and green onion with some sort of soy ginger sauce that I haven't figured out yet.

4. Vacation. Gotta finalize the plans.

5. Need to start my seeds and find my forcing vase for the bulb that Alicia sent with her photo swap package. Love it, Alicia! Thanks!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

What I am Thinking About Today..Books

1. Heard about Roberto Bolano on the NY Times Book Review podcast. Hoping to find his books in our library.

2. Also thinking about the Mitford sisters. Would like to read this or this.

3. Hubby said I need to read Pale Fire. Which I think I will as soon as I finish rereading...

4. Breath Sweeps Mind

Sigh. I love books. I went through a brief phase a few years back where I just didn't read much at all. I can't tell you how happy I am to be totally back in it...reading, reading, reading.

Monday, February 25, 2008

3 Weeks Off...The Party List

1. Theme officially party

2. Puffy ball tissue flowers to hang from the ceiling are in full production. Idea found kicking around on flickr sometime last year and it lead me to Martha Stewart's site but I can't find the instructions anymore, only kits that you can buy.

3. Ideas for the three goodie bags are set. Happily (actually it's a mixed blessing), Kidlet hasn't asked for any of her schoolmates to come to the party so I only need to make three goodie bags. I kind of wish she did want to invite some schoolmates so I could spend some time with them but it does make the party smaller. And that, my friends, is a good thing in our tiny home.

4. Food. This year, I decided to not cook through the entire party (I've done pancakes for the past two years) and I'm not sure what to do. Kidlet has requested fruit salad, but a bowl of fruit salad does not make a party. Of course, we will be having cupcakes. Any ideas for easy brunch finger foods?

5. Eeep! The invites! I've got to make the invites!

6. The presents are arriving in the mail. I went for this with a bunch of these little guys. I am having mixed feelings because it is a 'Made in China' product with plastic bits mixed in. However, they haven't had any recalls and they use their own factory. When I looked at more natural options, I wasn't overly enamored of the blocky, all-wood house-and-people sets I saw. To be honest, I don't even know if Kidlet will dig this stuff. She latches on to things for a week or two and then drops it. Except for her pinata. She'll play with her pinata anytime. Amazing that's it's been a year and it still is in one piece.

7. The weather. Must send a note to those in charge of the weather to make it blissfully warm so the plum blossoms on the tree will be in full bloom mode.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Midweek-Weekend Wrap

Today is misty, with a chill in the air. Snow is dusting the hilltops. Am I sad that winter woke up again? Nope, it's refreshing. And there's still a touch of that fresh, green spring in that breeze.

I enjoyed a three day weekend that actually felt like three days. I managed to get a lot done, without hearing that little voice say "hurry, do more!" However, I did have a lot of anxiety/panic issues. I am going to start charting when they happen so I can start getting a handle on the problem. I know many of the root causes (having too many responsibilities, hormones, grief) but I want to see if there is a pattern and perhaps if I can recognize the pattern, I can figure out some tactics to fight it. It ain't fun. 'Nuff said.

I made some incredibly yummy pizzas this weekend (bbq shrimp, veggie and pesto, for those keeping score at home). I've been working on tweaking the recipe for some time and I think I finally have it just right. Yay!

In knittingland, I have officially reached the halfway point on my mom's birthday present (and it's awesome), did my first dropped stitches (that's a good thing, in this case) on the clapotis, and started the dresser scarf for Kidlet. We went to the yarn store to pick up the yarn for the dresser scarf and well, we had some trouble at the yarn store. No, it wasn't just the fact that I splurged (via a gift certificate) on one skein of this (color 158) but Kidlet picked up a huge glass vase that was on display and dropped it. Yeah. I turned my back for...yes, you guessed it...just a moment and then I heard Kidlet say "Look, Mama!" and crash. They were very nice about the whole thing but ugh. I still feel terrible.

Well, I wish I could say I was snuggled in front of a fire surrounded by my knitting projects and birding books, watching the birds come to the feeder but no. Today it's work and then it's studying for an exam tomorrow. Wish me luck and spontaneous deep knowledge of volcanoes, the rock cycle and plate tectonics.

Friday, February 15, 2008

A Dozen Bits of Randomness on a Friday

1. Books Kidlet has been reading nightly:

Barkley by Syd Hoff (I love the illustrations.)

Mr. Tall by Roger Hargreaves (I've purchased many of these books. I usually buy the ones I think pertain to Kidlet (ie. Little Miss Contrary, Little Miss Bossy).)

Thanks, Mom by Ed Emberley (Kidlet loves Ed Emberly)

2. I think I am getting sick before a gorgeous 60 degree-ish 3-day weekend. Uh huh.

3. I have to study for my midterm and finish my lab paperwork.

4. I sent off my taxes. Horray!

5. I am getting a cavity.

6. Buying yarn for a project for Kidlet this weekend. No, she does not want me to knit a sweater, socks or a toy. She wants a dresser scarf. I'm thinking of doing something like this.

7. Trying to decide what my next book to read should be. Almost done with Dharma Bums (loving it) and one of the books I'm most interested in right now isn't at the library. Any suggestions?

8. Feeling the desire for new shoes. Trying to shove the desire out of the room.

9. One of my favorite podcasts that I've just started listening to is Radiolab.

10. I'm obsessed with the color green right now. Mmmm, green-y goodness.

11. This weekend, I think I will make waffles.

12. How come I can't find a decent a-line skirt?

Hope you get a dose of spring this weekend. Enjoy!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Mud, Yarn, Mourning and a Sighting

The ground is coming out of its seized up state. The yard is still a safe harbor for a 10' x 20' island of snow, but the rest of it is mud or dirt hiding a mushy subsurface. Grape hyacinths are poking up as are the frighteningly large populations of irises and white onion-y things. Go to sleep, fellas. This is Nevada. This is the land of Memorial Day snows after February 'springs'.

Took advantage of the 60 degree temperature to trim the hedges so they no longer scratch at the windows like a gnarled fairtale monster. Made a lovely bowl of soup and some of the best bread I have ever baked. Also, baked some chocolate chip cookies for our Sunday morning guests.

And I spent a lot of time screwing up my knitting. I finished my Jaywalker sock. I wove in all the ends and then tried it on my right foot. Too long for my foot, strange bunching about the ankle and too tight around the calf. And my calves are not that big. I went to bed, woke up for a couple hours in the middle of the night and tried to assess the situation. What do I do? Start over? Make a second ill-fitting sock? I am honest with myself and decided that I'm so sick of this yarn and pattern, I will rip it out in the morning and make a scarf out of the yarn a few years in the future when I can stand to look at the yarn again. In the morning, I try the sock on my left foot. It fits better, but the calf is still stretched thin. I decide to not rip out the sock right away and I start working on my Mom's birthday present. I am groggy (note that I said I was awake for a couple hours during the night). A few wrongly placed yarn overs later and I'm cursing my knitting. Sigh. It took me about an hour to 'fix' it, but it's not the perfectly knit item that it once was. I work on Clapotis and as I am about to start the meat of the pattern, I realize I did some seriously funky yarn joining. At least that was easily remedied. Oh, Clapotis! Have I told you how much I adore you?

And mourning? Yes, but nothing too serious at the moment (although I did feel choked up when I was sweeping under the couch and found about a dozen of Nora's tennis balls). Kidlet has officially given up her nap. My two hours of peace in the middle of the weekend have been rudely and abruptly stripped away.

The sighting: spotted towhee. I love bird watching. It feels good to get back to it. I used to be obsessed with birds when I was very young. I would pour over the bird section in the encyclopedia, memorizing the birds and the motions required for flying. No, I didn't not stand on a chair in the spare room trying to move my arms in the same manner as the birds in the hopes I would fly. Nope, that wasn't me. Ok, it was.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Design Element

You probably can't see it, but there is a mistake. A few rows away from finishing sock 1 and of course, we have a misaligned pattern. Now the question comes, do I drop 6 stitches down to the offending row and attempt to knit back up, even with all the decreasing that needs to go on or do I just soldier on and hope no one (including myself) ever notices it? I am tempted to fix it, but my dropping/fixing skills are...well...null. What if I completely mess it up? I usually 'unknit' all rows back to the problem and fix it that way (or just rip the whole thing apart). The problem is so far back that unknitting isn't an option this time. Shall we just call the offending pair of stitches a 'design element'?

Everything has been pretty mundane. I've only taken about 1/2 dozen photos in the past week. I've been reading my school assignments and knitting Clapotis. Planning Kidlet's birthday (still over a month off). Finally watched the Herzog documentary that has been lounging about the house for over a month. Started reading The Dharma Bums. Trying to decide if I want to make the (longish) trek to Stitches West. Did the taxes. Paid the bills. Planning the summer Disneyland vacation with the tax refund. Made a veggie pie. Curry tonight.

Is it just me or is February made for slogging through as quickly and painlessly as possible? They even made the month shorter because it feels like it's a million years long. Ok, that's not true but I just feel so uninspired by February. I was going to try and come up with a February project but...well, it's the 6th of February and still nothing. I guess I've got a million years left to go.

Friday, February 01, 2008

A Baker's Dozen plus 5 more

I've been tagged by Ms. Cathy for "6 things you may not know about me". You all probably know a whole lot about me since I've been spewing a lot about myself for almost two years in this virtual journal and from a couple of other tags. But as I've been a weak bloggger as of late, a framework assists me in the writing department. So, 6 more things about yours truly...

1. If I wake up for even a moment during the hour of 2 a.m., I'll be up for at least the next two hours. I (inadvertently) tested this last night when Kidlet cried out for me to be her potty escort.

2. A perfect day starts with one of the following combinations: coffee and a bearclaw, coffee and a maple bar, or coffee and yogurt with granola and honey. Of course, pancakes are in the mix too (but not made from a mix. The horror!).

3. I like to pick towns and 'shop' for early 20th century/late 19th century houses. A few towns I have recently 'researched': Portland, ME, Sacramento, CA, New Orleans, LA and Albuquerque, NM.

4. I am painfully shy. I'm getting better at hiding it.

5. I wish I needed glasses for reading because I think I look cute in glasses.

6. If I knew how to sew, I'd make myself 'uniforms' that were kind of like apron dresses or smocks. They'd be kind of like these or the beloved smocket. And yes, these are for todders but really, I think I could pull it off. Really! Now to find a pattern for someone my that's another story.

Your mission should you choose to accept it: continue the meme. Or just have a nice weekend, k?