Thursday, May 31, 2007

Yohoho and pass the rum

There's a damn pirate ship floating up my river. The news article says that one of the ships was used in the PotC movies. Think they sailed that sucker all the way up from L.A. and up the Columbia? That must've been fun. Sadly, it was more likely a big semi up I-5 and a launch from Vancouver (WA).

Dang, they're shooting off cannon now. Maybe they'll pick off some of the cars on the bridge. That'd be diverting.

Arrr mateys, this be the start of the Rose Festival, the biggest civic event of the year 'round these parts. Not only that, but it's the 100th year (yo, you East Coasters. Don't be haters. Nothing around here besides the old fort at Vancouver is older than 150 years, so 100 years is nothing to sneeze at).

They set up this big "waterfront village" (e.g. temporary portable carnival) along the waterfront, including a perennial favorite that kind of looks like bungee jumping in reverse. There are these 2 tall pillars (8 stories tall? I'm estimating) and I think how it works is that they strap you down and attach you to bungee cords under tension and then let you go, so you go flinging high up into the air, between the pillars. I think like a slingshot, except the stone (person) is stuck to the cords.

What? No, no way, I've never tried it. I treasure my stomach and its current contents, thanks. But I can see the two pillars from here and it's always a antidote to work boredom to glance out the window and see some random person flung into the air. Woohoo! Entertainment for a week!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Coffee... Jello?

Coffee Jello, as part of the More Fun With Coffee series, as part of the extensive Gallery of Regrettable Food.

I ripped off the links from the Knitting Curmudgeon; it was so good I had to share.

Nothing, everything; wastes of time

I'm sorry I haven't been around, I just... nothing I've been doing seems all that interesting. I mowed the lawn (K the love monkey edged. I HATE edging. Note: we have a manual edger). I planted a lot. Weeded. Composted. Mulched. Hey, we've got little proto tayberries! yay! My neglect hasn't killed them yet. Peas are blooming and tiny pea pods have sprung out. Got some basil, some new thyme (got some thyme on my hands. heh) and new tarragon. Grilled stuff.

See, I'm all stream of consciousness lately and none of it's interesting. Oh, yes, Saturday night was FABULOUS, there's this great tiki bar on NE Broadway and about 28th and DAMN do they know how to make a good Mai Tai. It's within (long) staggering distance too so neither of us had to be designated driver.

A digression: have I mentioned my love of fruity drinks? RUM. YUM. Sadly very few places make good tiki cocktails. I have no bartending experience, none, but I make better drinks than every place I've ever had them, save this tiki bar (Thatch is the name) and Luau in Seattle, which changed ownership and I don't know if they're any good any more. I think the secret is fresh juice, and places upscale enough to use fresh juice don't serve things like mai tais.

Anyway, love Thatch, and especially because DAMN it's nice to see a real live Tiki bar done up right, bamboo, mood lighting, carved Pacific Island statues, appropriate music and all. And not some huge cavernous place aimed at tourists (although those locations can have a charming chic all their own, but too often they have substandard food and try to rely on their Disneyish looks alone. Hello Casa Bonita. I am looking at you! Love your waterfall, but the canned velveeta's got to go). K had a fun ol' hangover the next day but I must have the Liver of Steel because I felt fine.

Oh yes, went with coworkers to see Spiderman 3 the other day. I really don't want to comment, except that I love this commentary the very best of anything I've read about that movie (HAR MATEY! THERE BE SPOILERS AT THAT LINK!). Funky emo hair indeed.

I'm still terribly behind with email/whatever. You'd think 3 days at home would be enough to catch up. Look, at least I got off a birthday present for my Mom (June 1st. I got her the leaf lace shawl from Fibertrends. I haven't knitted it myself but I thought it was pretty and Fibertrends patterns have been good to me so far.) I have two damn repeats and an edging left on the silk stole despite knitting like mad all weekend (finished all of Death and the Dancing Footman and Nemesis). I stretched it out Saturday morning and it's 50 inches. Did another 8 inches this weekend. I want 70. Pfah. I need this to be done.

Thanks for all the comments, I do read them all and love you for them, and I so apoligize for not answering anything lately. See, I haven't even bothered to download any pictures lately. My head's just full of goo and I can't get it together. I'm not even sick so I don't have that excuse. It's just when I am home and I feel such wonderful relief at being able to sit quietly with a glass of lemonade and just stare at nothing or knit (nothing that requires any thought, just the stupid silk lace. I've memorized the pattern (I suppose that's a good sign, seeing as it's my own)), that I kind of give up on coping with everything and go with the lemonade. Reason #2395 for why I would make a terrible parent.

I hope you all had a great weekend, and a meaningful Memorial Day. I better get back to work.

Monday, May 21, 2007


I despise Mondays.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Contest Winner!

Thanks all so much for entering the contest. I had a great time reading all your comments. I know I said I'd post this Saturday but I'm a lame-o and yesterday we spent ripping up the parking strip for its makeover and I completely flaked out. Today my gluteal muscles hurt. I'm not used to this (see what a lazy ass gardener I am?)

Mr. Random Number Generator chose TJ as the winner! Congratulations! Please send me your address and I'll get your yarn in the mail to you this week.

P.S. I am super behind on email (like, a month or so) and I'm trying to catch up. Please forgive me.

P.P.S My neice turned 1 year old today. 1! Year! Old! I feel like an old geezer.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Random is as Random does

  • My friend and all-around super-heroine Connie-Lynne linked to this neato Fantasy Map of L.A. Transit done in London Underground style. It's fantasy, those public transit lines don't actually exist, but it must've been fun to build it. I think it's cool and I'm not going to try to explain why.

  • Woo, Mr. Random Number Generator picks a contest winner tomorrow. Not too late to enter if you haven't already!

  • K the love monkey and I resurrected the grill from the garage last weekend. He's been eyeing it all week, now that it's clean and spider and slug-free. What shall we grill? Any good ideas?

  • Still chugging on the silk lace. chug chug chug bead chug chug chug chug. This is boring as hell, isn't it? Well, I'm entertained. I've also made it through 2 more audiobooks. Thanks for the recommendations, I'm working through them. If you have anymore, bring 'em on. just... I don't do romances, 'k?

Did I mention the roses? She is blooming. This picture is indicative of the weather which it has not been like all week, and is expected for tomorrow (teeth of gnashing). Just ONE of these weeks it'd be nice to have it bright, sunny, and warm on SATURDAY and not on MONDAY.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Feeling voluble today, but it's all crap spewing out. blah blah blah blah blah.
Work is busy, things are broken, and I'm trying to fix the problems in an old, old FrankenProject that I haven't looked at for months and involves pieces of all kinds of mouldy old junk. So I better whip out the pictures and get back to it.

Wildflowers on the parking strip

Camo kitty

We didn't intend to get a cat that blended so well with the couch. She just showed up on the doorstep and wouldn't leave.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

My little obsessions (besides yarn)

I think I mentioned before that I'm a lazy gardener. Some of the spring bulbs didn't get planted until January. Um. Not a high success rate there.

This is kind of painful for me to admit. I love gardens, love plants, love fresh vegetables and flowers and picking things off the vine. But I seem to be more interested in HAVING a garden than DOING a garden. It's embarassing. I procrastinate the garden work until it's almost too late. Or it is too late. I don't know why I do this, so I must conclude that I just don't really like the act of gardening.

This is awful. I really WANT to be a good gardener. I so admire people who love working with plants, people with beautiful gardens that they've planned and created and nurtured themselves. I think it's partly the perfectionism (DAMN YOU INNER PERFECTIONIST) because somehow I feel I must get it EXACTLY RIGHT the first time. And really, you just can't ever tell with plants, or at least you can't ever tell with my level of expertise.

But I really, really, really need to get off my derrière and do something about the parking strip, the bit between the sidewalk and the street. The previous owners had laid down plastic with bark chips over the top. Really fabulous. We ripped up the plastic and planted a wildflower mix. It looked fantastic through about mid-July, then it just looked dead.

I've got some serious problems to work around, though:

  1. There are 2 blue spruces at either end of the strip. They're 20 feet high and look at least 25 years old, and while they're a bad idea for a near-the-street tree, I am loathe to cut them down. So there are a lot of tree roots. I can't mound up dirt very high nor work dirt very deeply or I'll kill the trees.

  2. Our soil is heavy clay. Yeah, tons o' fun.

  3. The climate here is October->May rain rain rain rain rain ICE STORM rain rain rain and June->September: no rain. Usually there's less than 3" all summer long. It's tough finding any plants that can survive the winter floods (clay soil, I'm looking at you) and the summer drought. I do not want to have to water the parking strip, ever.

  4. Weeding a parking strip is not fun. Don't want to have to do this often. Maybe twice a year, and that's pushing it.

  5. Our neighbors have 2 boys, 7 and 9. Do you KNOW how many softballs, baseballs, golf clubs, basketballs, and random detritus I find? Delicate plants are out.

Armed with my Sunset Western Gardening Book and a landscaping book specifically for Pacific Northwest, I've got to come up with a plan and implement it. I need stuff that's borderline (heck, over the border and in the country) invasive, tough, and mostly looks good all year. It's probably impossible.

Here's the shortlist of plants (not like the long list is all that long):
russian sage
purple coneflower (echinacea purpurea)
wooly thyme (groundcover)
ornamental strawberries (groundcover: supposed to take any kind of soil and grow everywhere. My kind of plant)
bulbs for the spring: daffodils, tulips, crocus, iris. If they fit the scheme.

Other possibilities in consideration:
hen and chicks (sempervivum)
regular sage
rock roses

Yeah, we're going all mediterranean. Rosemaries are one of my favorites and they're tough plants. Sedum's been growing on me. I adore echincaceas but I rarely see them around here (in Seattle they're all over the place. go figure)

Bah. Too much work ahead. I haven't even drawn up the paths yet. SO LAZY. I'd rather sit back with a mojito.
Echinacea uber alles!

Friday, May 11, 2007


Hey! I haven't ever given anything away. That's a travesty. Time for a contest!

To enter the contest, leave a comment on this post and tell me what you most like about knitting RIGHT NOW (or crochet, or whatever fiber art is possessing you at the moment). It could be a new technique, a nifty pattern, a particular fiber, a finished object - or something less tangible, if you like. The feel and texture of yarn, the rhythm of knitting, the knitblog community. Whatever. Tell me what you like. You can tell me multiple things but I'll enter everyone just once.

Vanna, show them what they might win:

380 yards of Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock, medium weight (~7 st/inch in stockinette), in colorway Rooster Rock. The picture is pretty close to actual colors. It's all intact except I removed the ballband (which I still have and will send along)

I'll pick an entry at random in a week, on Saturday 5/19.

WOOO! Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Picture pages

Ha, you want pictures? I give pictures!

My new (not so new any more, actually) knitting/traveling bag, socks included for scale.
I'm not really a purse kind of person. They just seem to get in the way and I'm prone to leaving them places. On the other hand, it sucks to have bulging pockets when you're visiting places. This fits a sock-in-progress, book, camera, cellphone, sunglasses, and keys & wallet handily. It's also rugged, zippered, mostly impervious to rain, and has dragonflies on it. Love love love it.

The ferns are happy to see warmer temperatures.

Going home, waiting for the train. This is from more than a month ago and the blossoms are all gone now

Mr. & Mrs. Mallard are also glad it's Spring and they've started up the municipal fountains again.

I love the shapes of maple leaves (I suspect this is part of a greater star/sparkly thing fixation) This is a Japanese maple, a bit before twilight, on my walk home through downtown

Same tree, but closer. The leaves are always red, all through the spring and summer and fall

I work an hour a day on the pile o' lace. It never seems to look any bigger. I know this is a well documented effect but... BLEH. Plus it is by far the ugliest lace I've ever worked, when non-stretched. It just looks a pile of slippery chaos until I pin it out. Did I mention that the cat is fascinated by the silk thread? And managed to hook a claw into the stole last night and pull out a loop way near the bottom? It's OK, happy ending: it was only a single stitch and once I stopped hyperventilating I redistributed the pulled-out slack. I think I need a snood for my lace.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

RSIs suck

I about gave myself a repetitive stress injury on Saturday by knitting for 6 hours, 4 of them consecutively (yeah, stupid, I know. I was on a ROLL though). Sunday my wrist was a sad little wrist, not actually hurting but oh so ready to release its vindictive wrath. I babied it, iced it on and off, and avoided the needles all day. Monday it was back to its chipper self, thank goodness.

I did manage to get a big swatch of silk beaded lace done, although sadly I need more more more. I really like this beading, it's seductively fun, despite the interruption in the knitting rhythm. And OOH SHINY BEADS (you can tell I didn't go for matte, did I? You can tell I'm sort of a satin hi-gloss kind of person? Funny how that doesn't extend at all to my warddrobe, except that I like red and orange.) It's nice, it feel less like a folly and more real as it gets bigger. The weight feels like nothing (I've used maybe 1/4 the 100g skein). 100 g, 1000+ yards. YAR! I'm using silk lace, hand-dyed by Blue Moon Fiber arts, in an old color named Falcon's Eye. Sadly it doesn't seem to available off their website. It's an fantastic sage green that runs the value gamut from pale to saturated. I wish I were as subtle as this color is.

It's absolutely lovely gorgeous today (and was yesterday too). This of course has to happen on Monday and friggin' Tuesday. It'll be raining by the weekend. But no, I'm not bitter.

Last night I got home, poured a glass of strawberry lemonade and broke out the chocolate, made myself comfortable on the patio and then knit until I couldn't see any more. I've even got the mosquito bite to prove it (WTF why are there mosquitos in MAY?). I know that as summer gets closer and closer these days happen more often, and I'll start taking them for granted in another month, but right now I'm getting serious cabin fever from the sunshine and warmth. Today I be baring my knees to the universe. Hello universe, this is knees.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

When the going gets tough, the tough post links

I just saw LOLTrek last night and about bust a gut laughing.
"I trade wheat for sheep." HHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Yeah, strange sense of humor, we got that here.

I also like the real-life Google placemarker (watch the movie, it makes more sense) and the Japanese men carrying an arrow cursor.

All these links courtesy of K the love monkey, who is Cool and In The Know when it comes to interesting sites. Me, I just know the guy who did Pop vs. Soda.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Nothing to read here

Wisteria: charming plant or house-eater?

Don't hate me because I'm beautiful

Next on the news: when azaleas explode

I was a crow who hoarded shiny bits of chewing gum wrapper in a previous life