Monday, December 31, 2007


Hi. We're back from the cornfields. Actually, not much of the cornfields left anymore. More like edge-of-strip-mall-land. In fact, I was able to observe the complete lifecycle of the American suburban strip mall: from larvae to adult to dried out empty husk.

We took the train up to Chicago on Christmas eve.

Why yes, we saw the bean.

What they don't tell you is that the curving on the middle inside makes these really neat infinite reflection patterns.

Even the lions at the Art Institute were dressed up for the holidays.

By the way, Christmas Eve (especially if it's particularly cold) is an excellent day to visit the Chicago Art Institute. It's not as crowded as usual and there's little to no wait time to see the exhibits. (On one other memorable Christmas Eve there were maybe 2 dozen people in the whole building. K says he has NEVER seen the garage look so empty. We parked next to the stairs.)

There was this nifty Indonesian textile exhibit that we got to see. Lots of fabulous and intricate ikats (both warp and weft!), batik, and embroidery, among other things. I was sad that they'd archived the big Chagall windows during their renovation, though. I would've liked another look at those.

We saw what will ever be fixed in my mind as the Blues Brothers Hut-Hut building.

And that Picasso.

It wasn't super-fantastic cold (like the day before. mmm, 17 F and windchill to 0. Something to make me appreciate my mild Pacific Northwest winters), but it was 25 F chilly. Still, both of us had had a little too much sedentary time and pizza lately so we walked all over downtown. Here's the Chicago river (yeah, the one they dye green on St. Patrick's day):

I don't really have much in the way of other pictures but it was a lovely restful Christmas and I was able to dump all my guilt and worry by the wayside for a week. I got a lot of knitting done too, including finishing off the Sport sweater. No, not in time for Christmas, but in time to give it to NY niece. Who is, as always, unbearably cute. She's a good kid.

Hap-hap-happy new year everyone! We're cooking jumbalaya, drinking Gluhwein, and baking New Year's bread (a new tradition, brought about by necessity after we forgot the 2-3 hour final rise AFTER the initial rise): you make it in the old year and eat it in the new year. I wish you all a wonderful new year, may it be better than the last.

Friday, December 21, 2007

blog on the road

Thank you all so much for your kind words. I'm feeling a lot better, at least in part because I've run out of time to do stuff for xmess and because I'm now several thousand miles away, visiting the in-laws. It's difficult to clean the shower from here, so I'm free from shower guilt for the moment.

I did manage to get the packages off, personal triumph there. Still working the xmess cards though. They are likely to be new years cards instead.

Gotta go, heading back into signal-less cornfields. Very happy holidays to you all!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


I don't know what's up lately but it feels like just one touch will break me into a million dull-edged pieces. I am keeping up with the gym, mostly, and then in the shower my head is full of angry rants. Where are those endorphins when you need them?

I like December, usually. What with Christmas and birthday and new years it's kind of a big ol' party for the whole month. I really like the holiday pageantry (ain't that a $10 word) because I don't get a whole lot of pageantry in daily life and I like to see things shake up a bit. And more red everywhere, and shiny lights. But I can hardly drag myself along this year, it's a all a bunch of thhbbbt, too much bother.

I can't seem to keep a straight and coherent thought in my head. No, I haven't finished buying Christmas gifts. I'm embarrassed at how much gimme gimme want want I feel this year. I feel guilty that I only managed to make a couple pair of mittens for the Oklahoma project.
It's mid-December and nothing is done. Mostly I'm just tired and fat and full of doubt about everything. I'm starting to resemble J. Alfred.

Ain't even got no pretty pictures. I wish it would snow. I wish I could hibernate for 3 months. I wish I could magically come up with the perfect gift for my mother-in-law (or heck, make it my father-in-law.) The parents ask for my xmess list, but what do I really want?
1. to feel like more than a lump
2. to have 40 pounds magically disappear from my body. Although not all from one location, please. Or you can gift me with a faster metabolism. I'm not picky.
3. a pair of pants that actually fits - you know, in both the waist and hips and thighs. It's probably too much to ask for them to look good, too. It's been years since anything flattered me. I got so mad last time I ordered some pants I sent back a whole diatribe inscribed on the L.L.Bean return form.
4. world peace. This should be #1. There's a bunch of other world problems you could also fix while you're at it.
5. 3 extra hours a day. Some might favor the "extra day each week" but I find spreading out the time allows for greater laziness.

oh damn, I just need to get out of my head. I'm all focused on me me me.

Isn't this the most awesome picture ever? My niece on a sugar high:

Other niece's xmess pic:

There's another one on the way. Is this not the most freaky clear ultrasound you have every seen? I am a little freaked at the little bones.

Oh yes, in a few months we'll be a triple niece household.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Still here, not treading water

We did get lots and lots of rain, but the wind hit the coast and most stopped there. It was a little blustery on Sunday and Monday, but not unusually so. Fortunately metro Portland didn't really get hit very hard. We didn't even lose power. We live up a couple hundred feet from the nearest water, out of the flood plain, so there was no worries there.

The coast, however, is in bad shape. They had gusts up to 126 mph, and many, many trees are down and rivers are flooded.

Now it's warm and even sunny today. They call this weather pattern the Pineapple Express because it's a storm formation that comes straight up from Hawaii, bring warm air and lots of moisture. The warmth melts some of the snow in the mountains, making the flooding worse.

It doesn't feel like December at all, not when it's 50 degrees F outside and the high was around 60ish. Oh well, the weather report assures me we'll be back to highs in the 40s by Thursday. (The freakiest thing to me, because I grew up in the desert, is the difference between high and low. High 44, low 37? That's only 7 degrees (F!) of temperature differences. Very different than the 40-degree swings you could get in Albuquerque).

Sorry, blah blah blah interesting weather blah blah.