Saturday, December 30, 2006

Sky over Animal Kingdom Lodge

I took this picture right before we left the hotel to go to the airport. It seemed like a mass of birds circling the moon.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Back from WDW

The weather changed each day we were there from warm enough to wear t-shirts, shorts, and sandals to cold enough to wear a turtleneck, sweatshirt, and hat... but everyday was humid. It was sunny on some days and rainy on others. And on Christmas Eve, through the magic of Disney, there was snow in Magic Kingdom around midnight.

I'm tired... utterly and totally exhausted really. We had a really good time but after five nights of only 4-5 hours of sleep and 57.5 miles of walking, well, let's just say I'm really glad that I took the whole week for vacation. Very little knitting was done, some at the airport and on the plane but while we were there, nothing of note. My favorite hotel is the Animal Kingdom Lodge, my favorite park is Animal Kingdom, my favorite ride is the Kilimanjaro safari, my favorite restaurant is Bistro de Paris in Epcot, and my favorite character is Mickey Mouse. I love all the fireworks shows!

Here's some pictures from our trip.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Something for me

So often, my knitting is gifted away. There are few things I knit this year that are truly mine. Although I have a crocheted acrylic Santa hat with a jingle bell and a tassel on the end from my childhood (that I still wear, the long white brim unrolled to accomodate my now larger head), I have always wanted something better. Something soft and fuzzy and designed to fit my head. And now that Max and I are heading to Disney World for Christmas, well, now is the time.

Christmas hat
The white yarn is Caron Bliss and the red is a cashmere that I bought at AC Moore right before the colour was discontinued. I have high hopes of finishing the hat before I see Mickey. Being able to wear it (when the forecasted highs are between 70 and 80) is another question altogether.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Finished at last

The cambridge sweater was finished on Saturday morning. I woke up early, 7:47am, and althought my first inclination was to go back to sleep but I knew the cambridge sweater needed to be finished and mailed that day. So I went downstairs, Max still asleep in bed, finished the single crochet edging on the bottom of the sweater and the sleeve cuffs. Then the arduous task of weaving in all the ends. I had just finished when I heard Max get up. I think that was at 9:30am, but probably closer to 10am. After a quick breakfast, we drove to the post office and then I stood in line until 12noon while Max stood outside and talked to his brother on the phone. It cost over $50 to ship the large box of presents to my family in Canada via Global Priority Express. I swear that is the most I have ever paid at the US post office. Still, a heavy burden was lifted from my shoulders.

Oh, did I not mention the zipper? Luckily, I did not have to sew it in. My mom offered to do it for me and so I jumped on that. Sigh of relief. Otherwise I think I would not have finished until January. There are no pictures but hopefully someone will take some for me.

I'm still working on one last Christmas knitting item but I'm hoping to finish it tonight or tomorrow. I'll take pictures before I ship it but then I'll have to wait to post them.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Saturday Sky

Last night was my company holiday party. The office closed early and I went to the salon to get a haircut and a colour wash. The party was a big to-do at the Marriott, everyone dressed up (some more than others), there was a drawing for prizes, and an ice luge for chilling green or red martinis. The food was only mediocre but with four drinks spread over four hours, I wasn't even hungry. Plus I got to wear my fancy Chinese red silk chi-pao
from my wedding.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Swish poncho

Swish poncho
I finished this poncho awhile ago but with the shorter days, it took forever to take a natural daylight photo. You can't tell but it was pretty cold outside.

This was a quick knit - once I figured out what the pattern meant. I used Knit Picks Swish in dark navy. The yarn is 100% wool, it's soft and nice to work with - and after a machine wash it still looks great. If I were to make it again though, I would knit it in the around and avoid having to sew seams.

The poncho is a Christmas present for my brother's (long-time) girlfriend. Should be just the thing to keep her warm at work. I'm mailing it on Saturday. Hopefully it will arrive in Canada in time for Christmas!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Air hose cosy update

Air hose cosy

This picture was taken last week after I had just started knitting the air hose cosy. The tube is done. It was a very quick knit. There is texture, variety of colours and yarns, mostly in knit stitches but a few purls thrown in randomly. I've started on the mask cover, using Red Heart soft because we're not sure if the recipient is allergic to wool or not - and better to not risk it if it's going to be covering someone's face while they are sleeping, you know? The tube was machine washed last night and tonight I will knit some brown i-cord worms to attach as decoration. Totally weird present, right? Yeah, but I've still received a thumbs-up from Max and Kristina.

Saturday, December 09, 2006


Max asked me, "Honey, what are your ear plugs doing here [in the living room]?"
I said, "Ha, ha! Look at them."
"Oh, these are your knitting things."

Specifically, my needle point protectors. He's funny. And cute.

Here's my saturday sky:

Also, I read on the microRevolt reBlog that the Ministry of the Environment Government of Japan has a guide (PDF) on using cloth as opposed to paper for wrapping gifts to cut down on the wasted paper usually used in gift wrap. Sounds like a great idea. Oh, and I'm done my Christmas shopping! Yah! Just need to finish my Christmas knitting now...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

SP9 recipe contest

My Mom emails me recipes all the time, old ones, new ones, stuff I love, and even things I would never make. I chose this one because it was the first fancy dessert I made in highschool and I won third place at the French Club Bake-off. My Mom's note reads, "Delicious flavour of fresh raspberries and creamy custard"

Raspberry Flan
Raspberry Flan

Serving Size : 8

Shortbread Base
3/4 cup butter -- cold, cut into cubes
1/3 cup icing sugar
1.5 cups flour

Custard Layer
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1.5 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon lemon rind, grated
1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups fresh raspberries
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/3 cup orange juice
1/2 cup red currant jelly

For the base:
In a food processor combine flour and icing sugar, pulse to blend. Add in cold cubed butter. Pulse on and off until the whole dough comes together into a ball.

Pat into a 10 inch quiche pan with a removable bottom. Take small balls of dough and press into the sides. Use a spoon to smooth over the bottom and sides. Prick well with a fork. Let chill for 15 minutes while pre-heating the oven. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Cool.

For the custard:
In a heavy saucepan, mix egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch together until well blended. Stir in milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk. When mixture thickens and boils, remove from heat. Add lemon rind and vanilla. Cool slightly, spread filling into flan shell.

For the topping:
Top custard with rows of fresh raspberry. For glaze, cook cornstarch, orange juice and red current jelly over medium heat , until it boils and becomes clear. Spoon over raspberries, chill and serve.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Per Serving: 376 Calories; 20g Fat (48.0% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 45g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 153mg Cholesterol; 180mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1/2 Fruit; 4 Fat; 1 Other Carbohydrates.

Monday, December 04, 2006

A Disney Christmas

For months now, I've been planning for my parents' visit. Originally they were going to come in March but then they decided that would be too rushed since we were going to Berlin in April - which was okay because they decided they wanted to come stay with us for Christmas. At first I was skeptical... afterall it would be the first time my parents had not spent Christmas at home with the family. But they were adamant, they were definitely going to come. They were so definite about it that I relaxed and started to really look forward to their visit, planning what we would do while they were here, buying food and wine they would like, looking for just the perfect stocking holders to hang their stockings on the fireplace mantel. Max and I hung up some of our Christmas lights on Saturday and the house was starting to look a little festive.

Then my Dad called me yesterday.
They're not coming.

There's a pretty good reason why they're not coming but I can't help but feel sad and disappointed. Over the phone, I was calm and mature and let him know that I understood but then I broke down once I hung up. It's hard to set the emotions aside completely. Max felt bad for me and he did his best to make me feel better.

We're going to Walt Disney World!

He got on the phone after I talked to my parents and called Disney reservations. With some work with the Disney sales rep, he was able to get us non-stop flights to Orlando and we're staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Max is the best! It will be a short trip but we're both really excited. It's been over three years since our last trip and this is our all-time favorite vacation location. Just like the Disney commercial, Max couldn't fall asleep last night because he was too excited. Today I spent some time booking our dinner reservations and planning an itinerary. I'm still sad that my parents cancelled but I'm happy about the silver lining we created for ourselves.

What are your plans for the holidays?

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Saturday Sky

The autumn leaves are still hanging on as the temperatures dropped to 41 degrees today.

Friday, December 01, 2006

St. Bernadette's Holiday Bazaar

The St. Bernadette School Christmas Bazaar will be held on Saturday, December 2nd, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the school gym.

Tie dye by Shirley Raybuck. Pick up one of these for yourself!
Tie dyed Tie Dye by Shirley Raybuck

St. Bernadette's Catholic School, 7602 Old Keene Mill Rd., Springfield, VA

Thursday, November 30, 2006


It's tough posting everyday. I don't know how the professional bloggers do it. Even with fodder like birthdays, Thanksgiving and updates on my knitting progress, I found myself having to think ahead about what I was going to write - especially for the weekends. There were alot of posts that started out as one-liners, or just a photo, and then I'd hit "Save as Draft." I'd come back and edit them into something more substantial later that day or even later that week.

Here's a peek at my Christmas knitting:

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Measuring The Speed of Meme

In the name of science, I am joining an experiment by graduate student Scott Eric Kaufman, "Measuring The Speed of Meme" and I ask you to do the same if you have a blog. Once you've done so, ping Technorati. Results will be announced during the "Meet the Bloggers" panel at MLA 2006.

Happy Birthday Darren!

Darren in Berlin, not wearing his contacts because of all the cigarette smoke Happy 28!

One by one, my highschool classmates are all catching up to me.

Darren and I went to school together during our senior year of highscool at The International School of Beijing and four years of university at The University of Toronto on separate campuses. I went to school downtown on St. George campus and he was out in Scarborough at Erindale. Our first year of university we talked alot, almost everyday. We were both within a local calling area, so calling each other was free. There were many conversations that started with, "You won't believe how drunk I got last night..." Whenever Max came to visit me from Boston, Darren would meet us downtown and we'd go to the movies or out for dinner.

Now that we're all working and I've moved to the US, Darren has come to visit me and Max twice - once in Boston for our wedding and once in DC last summer when it was unbelievably hot and humid. Plus we met up in Berlin for the ISB reunion. Whenever Max and I go up to Canada to visit my family we also make plans to meet up with Darren for dinner or something. Darren is a good guy - cute, funny, and single for all you ladies who are looking.

Please join me in wishing Darren a happy birthday by leaving a comment. I'll tell him to come by later and take a look.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


Here's a peek at an unconventional holiday gift for someone who I'm sure does not read this blog - a knitted airhose cosy to cover a humidifier hose and face mask. For the tube, I'll probably use double pointed needles to knit in the round the two sections. For the face mask, I'll probably make something like these tea panties, minus the base and cover. I'll be using Lion Brand Woolease yarn because it's warmth and machine washable, in a manly forest green heather. Definitely the weirdest thing I've made yet but I've heard tell it will be well received.

Monday, November 27, 2006


I can't sew, not really. I know how, how it's supposed to be done, what I'm supposed to do... but then there's reality. One summer during college, I decided I was going to sew a dress for myself. It took 3 months! I'm totally hopeless when it comes to sewing, but... I guess because of my craftiness with knitting, my in-laws decided they wanted to buy me a sewing machine. So while Max's Dad was in town, we went to Sears and brought home the Singer 7442.

Comes with 80 stitch functions • 30 built-in stitches patterns • Electronic stitch formation • One-step buttonhole - 2 styles • Automatic optimum stitch settings • Automatic tension • LED light.

I'm totally intimidated.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Quiet house

Max's Dad and his brother, Marvin, stayed with us for Thanksgiving. We ate the big meal on Thursday, played lots of Zelda, ate leftovers, went shopping on Friday and Saturday, and went to the movies last night to see the new James Bond flick. Today really is a day of rest.

Marvin should be on his plane back to Boston, and Max is on the way to the airport to drop off his Dad. I am spent. Playing hostess and doing all the cleaning up that Max usually does, too much for me! :)

Now that Thanksgiving is over, time to start thinking about Christmas!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Saturday Sky

Went out for dim sum today with Max's family and then some. Table for 12. Yum! Lots of food. Wu gok, shu mai, dan tat, gai mei bao, dofu fa, and lots of other yummy dishes. Now, time to crash for a nap.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Kristina's hat

Although this is not the first project Kristina ever started (that was a scarf using fun fur), this is the first project that Kristina completed.

One day, there might be a pompom at the top of the hat. Until then, the hat will keep her warm and she can proudly say, "I made it!" The pattern is Knitty's Tycus and the yarn is a combination of Lion Bran Homespun and Red Heart Super Saver.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have celebrated the American Thanksgiving ever since I got married and moved down to the US. Most of our menu is made up of the dishes I ate at home for Canadian Thanksgiving (the second Monday in October) for years and years. For the most part, the only thing that changes from year to year is dessert. On this list of musts:

-roasted turkey (using Alton Brown's recipe for Good Eats Roast Turkey, it's the best!)
-gravy (using the pan drippings, wine, and the technique taught to me by my Mom)
Garlic Rosemary Focaccia-garlic rosemary focaccia (using the recipe from Gourmet Magazine)
-sausage chestnut stuffing (using a recipe from my Mom)
-mashed potatoes (with lumps since that's how Max likes to make it)
-holiday sweet potatoes (using a recipe from a former co-worker)

Instead of cranberry sauce, we're having fresh cranberry orange relish this year. Dessert is pecan pie. I'll be using a recipe from my Mom. In the past I've also made pumpkin pie and caramel-cranberry nut tart.

Every year, as I gather all the recipes and start making the grocery list, I always have to develop a game plan on how I'm going to get everything done, figure out what is going in the oven when. Every year I say to Max, I should create a booklet, you should help me map the process. But then every year, when Thanksgiving is over, I'm too tired to do any of that. Maybe this year will be the year. Ha. I think we'll be too busy playing Zelda on the Nintendo Wii.

Happy Thanksgiving!

p.s. Happy Birthday Justin

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

My new blue

On Monday, I was supposed to have friends over for dinner. I was going to make wild mushroom risotto, sauteed carrots, and garlic bread. For dessert, pears with cranberry cheese and toasted walnuts. Sounds delicious right?

So there I was, at home after work, getting dinner ready. Since there was going to be four of us, I needed to use my 2 quart glass casserole dish to make the risotto. I melted the butter, sauteed the onion, added the rice and the next step was to add the wine. The wine I had chilling in the fridge so we could drink it with dinner. Not thinking, I poured the cold liquid into the hot glass vessel.

It exploded! And the rice caught on fire!

Seriously people, talk about my worst kitchen disaster ever. I have never made something explode in the kitchen before. I was in shock. But not hurt thankfully. Max was standing by, so he was the one who turned off the stove and the oven and removed the spoon from the gas burner. I then called my friend and told her what happened.

We went out for dinner that night.

The best and worst part of this experience is that the glass casserole dish is gone. This is the dish we use for our Thanksgiving stuffing. Which we need tomorrow. So last night we went out and bought this from Williams-Sonoma:

Definitely feeling much better about the whole kitchen disaster. It is so beautiful! And it won't explode if I add cold liquid when it's hot. Love at first sight. Now... what can I break next? :)

(Just kidding, Max)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

SP9 Dishcloth

My SP9 hostess, Patty, is holding another contest for her group of participants. We had to knit a dishcloth and post a picture of it by November 22. I finished this on Friday but just took a picture of it yesterday. I used the Garterlac pattern, size 7 needles, and Lily Sugar 'n Cream cotton yarn in Neptune Ombre that Harriet the Lime Dragon gave to me during SP8.

SP9 dishcloth

Monday, November 20, 2006

Cambridge Sweater

Here's what the sweater looked like before the weekend:

Cambridge Sweater

That's the inside view. Over the weekend I finished the two fronts. And then promptly set it aside to knit the Swish Poncho. It's all seaming from here... sew the fronts and back together at the shoulders, then set in the sleeves, then sew the sleeve and side seams. There's more knitting once all of that is done but I just didn't feel like doing it. Especially since Max was playing his new Zelda game and I wanted to watch - which I could do while knitting the poncho but not while sewing. At least that's what I kept telling myself! :)

I'm hoping to get it done by the end of the month but this is a super busy week so I'm not sure if that is going to happen. Tonight, we're having friends over for dinner and then I need to do some Thanksgiving prep after they leave. Tomorrow, more prep and then friends arriving late to stay the night. Wednesday, tons more prep and then family arrives simultaneously at two different airports. And then of course, Thursday is the big day. I can't wait! :)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Swish poncho

The pattern I'm using is not all that clear but on size 10 needles, it is moving along quickly and I like that. I've completed the first half already and I'm almost half done the second half.

Swish poncho Swish poncho


I love working with Swish Superwash. It's a nice yarn, soft and easy to knit with. And since it's 100% wool, it should be warm too!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Saturday Sky

Yesterday morning, Max woke up to the smell of coffee... although our coffee maker has a timer, we almost never use it... and never on a weekday. Thursday night while Max was getting ready for bed, I set up the coffee to start brewing at 6:30am. In his car, I loosely tied a little bag of Jelly Belly jelly beans (that I bought in California in August but he didn't remember) to his steering wheel with a ribbon. After work, Max picked me up and we had dinner at Legal Seafoods. Everything was so yummy! While we were waiting for dessert he opened part of his birthday gift - an assortment of minty chocolates from Whole Foods. I also bought him some flowers on Thursday. The big part of his birthday present we're getting on Sunday - the new Nintendo Wii and Zelda: Twilight Princess.

After dinner, we went to the movies to see Happy Feet. Such a good movie!

In other news, Max's friends from BU, Natalia and Alex, finally got engaged! The two of them left DC on Monday for a roadtrip to LA. He proposed to her on Wednesday in Chicago. And she said yes. But then she waited until last night to tell us! We were very excited to hear the news first hand. Here's the happy couple!

Natalia and Alex

Friday, November 17, 2006


Twenty-eight is the natural number following 27 and preceding 29.

The sum of the first five prime numbers is 28.

Twenty-eight is the number of dominoes in standard domino sets.

The atomic number of nickel is 28.

Twenty-eight is the postal code of the province of Madrid, in Spain.

The planet Saturn revolves around the Sun in approximately 28 years.

In the year 28, King Daru of Baekje succeeded the throne of Baekje in Korean peninsula.

2006 - 1978 = 28

28 is how old Max is today.

Happy Birthday Max!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Cambridge sweater update

Cambridge Sweater

The Cambridge Sweater is coming along. I had hoped to be done by now but with other projects calling to me and distracting me... you know how it goes.

As you know, the two sleeves and the back are finished. I'm almost done the two fronts... only a few inches left to knit. Then there will be some seaming. After that, I'll need to pick up the stitches to knit the collar. Then sew in the zipper, the dreaded zipper. Have I told you how tired I am of brown yarn? I don't think I can emphasize that enough.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

This is the story of Harold Crick...

Max picked me up after work last night so we could go out to the movies. We skipped dinner, shared a large popcorn and a large Cherry Coke, and went to see Stranger Than Fiction.

Love it! There's a great cast, including Will Ferrell, Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thompson, Queen Latifah, and Maggie Gyllenhaal. Totally recommend it, especially if you were an English major. And unlike when we went to watch The Prestige a few weeks ago (also highly recommended), I knew what was going on before Max did. And that's always nice.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

America Recycles Day

Tomorrow is America Recycles Day. What can you do? Reduce, reuse, recycle. Here's just a few ways I try to reduce my ecological footprint:
  • -Metro to work
  • -At home, I recycle paper, phone books, junk mail, cardboard, aluminum cans, plastic containers, glass bottles
  • -At work, I recycle as much paper as I can... and every so often I bring home empty bottles to recycle at home. I have my own coffee mugs to avoid using the styrofoam ones. And sometimes when I use the plastic utensils, I bring them home to wash and reuse.
  • -Reuse cardboard boxes until they are falling apart
  • -Reuse gift bags and tissue paper whenever possible
  • -Donate old eye glasses, unwanted books and magazines to be enjoyed elsewhere
Do you recycle? Yes, but only when someone reminds you over and over again? If you need another reason, how about this.

Monday, November 13, 2006

ISBN conversion

An ISBN is the International Standard Book Number. It is a unique identifier for books that is accompanied by a barcode and part of the book cover design of all books for sale. ISBNs were originally 10 digits long, but like telephone numbers we have started running out of numbers.

Beginning on January 1, 2007, all the 10 digit ISBNs will be converted to 13 digit ISBNs. While you can do this one at a time for free online at various websites, to convert 400 numbers all at once will cost you. Or, you could use the handy dandy formula that my friend Anthony came up with. This formula worked for me and so I wanted to share it with others who are looking for a way to convert many ISBNs all at once, for free. When I asked Anthony if I could share it, he said, "You can definitely share it with anybody. A couple things I would keep in mind:

1) I'm no expert on ISBN's and spent less than 90 minutes coming up with that. But I did consult the manual.

2) I use the prefix "978" which is also what that website uses. However, according to wikipedia it can in some cases be "979." I don't know what those cases are , but it may be worth looking into.
3) I hard-coded the locations of the hyphens, but in my reading it seems the different components are of variable length (meaning the hyphen's may be in different locations for different ISBN numbers). If I had known that when I sent it to you I would have left out the hyphens entirely, which is what you may want to do."

Anthony's formula:

Cell A3 has the ISBN number - no dashes, 10 characters long

Cell B3 has:
21, 8, PRODUCT(MID(A3,1,1),3), MID(A3,2,1), PRODUCT(MID(A3,3,1),3),
MID(A3,4,1), PRODUCT(MID(A3,5,1),3), MID(A3,6,1),
PRODUCT(MID(A3,7,1),3), MID(A3,8,1), PRODUCT(MID(A3,9,1),3)),10)), 10))

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Brookline and Erin

My pretty kitties, Brookline and Erin, are well into adulthood. They're small cats, only 8.1lbs and 9.1lbs. I always forget how small they are until I go to someone else's house. Brookline likes to snuggle with Max, she absolutely adores him. Erin is my kitty - whiny, always shedding hair, and leaving a mess everywhere.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Remembrance Day

In Canada and the UK, November 11 is Remembrance Day. We used to recite the poem by John McCrae, In Flanders Field, in school:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Great taglines

"Putting the F.U. in TOFU"
I'm not vegan but I do like tofu... and how much do you love the tag line for Herbivore Magazine?

What's my tagline? Don't have one, so you tell me.

Dooce has too many to list, so many great ones, all incorporated into her mastheads... like "Proud to be an American Wearing Imported Canadian Sportswear" and "Unemployed & Unrepentant."

Thursday, November 09, 2006

November calendars

Chappysmom's birthday is in November and she's having a contest. To enter, all I had to do was take a picture of my November calendar page(s) and post it on my blog by November 15. We have several calendars in our house, and they were all free. Although I like them all, there isn't one that is my favorite.

Which one do you like best?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Revenge of the 80s

Who thought that bringing back 80s fashions would be a good idea? Was it Lindsay Lohan? And why did everyone jump on the bandwagon? I would have expected better from Victoria's Secret and United Colors of Benetton.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Day

I can't vote in the US. I could vote for the Canadian elections but I never know anything about anyone who is running, so I never do. Instead, I make Max vote in US elections. He never knows anything about anyone who is running, but here's why I making him vote this time:

BALLOT QUESTION NUMBER 1: Shall Article I (the Bill of Rights) of the Constitution of Virginia be amended to state: “That only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions.

BALLOT QUESTION NUMBER 2: Shall Section 14 of Article IV of the Constitution of Virginia be amended by deleting the provision that prohibits the incorporation of churches, a provision that was ruled to be unconstitutional and therefore now is

BALLOT QUESTION NUMBER 3: Shall Section 6 of Article X of the Constitution of Virginia be amended to authorize legislation to permit localities to provide a partial exemption from real property taxes for real estate
Ugh. The first one really... seriously?

Also, I found out about from my friend Ben (according to him it's "a site dedicated to providing the most accurate information pertaining to monetary donations to elected officials of other words, it tracks where our politicians are getting their money, and then breaks it all down into a dizzying number of categories, special interest groups, individuals, and industries") .

In any case, get out there today all you Americans! Vote for something, if not for someone.

Edited to add: I love Max. He just went to vote. We may not agree completely on how he voted but I love what he did afterwards. As he was leaving, he paid $10 for a cupcake from the school bake sale so the 6th grade class could go to Colonial Williamsburg. Sometimes he does something so nice that it makes me cry.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Matching set: part 2

Here's the matching hat:

Cashmerino hat

Max took the picture for me - thanks Max!

I loosely based it on the Tycus pattern, though only using one strand and casting on 22 stitches. There are about 3 triangles. When I was done I realised it was too short but since I had already ripped it out three times before deciding on this pattern, I didn't want to do it again because I was afraid I might ruin the texture of the yarn. I think 25 or 26 stitches would have been perfect. Instead, I picked up stitches around the bottom and knit a few rows of garter stitch, then cast off. It covers my ears and almost covers my eyebrows, which you might think it too long but everyone seems to think it's really cute... so for me, it's just right.

Didn't even use a whole ball of yarn! I'm saving the leftovers for part 3 - mittens.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Matching set: part 1

Cashmerino astrakan scarf

I started this scarf before my sister's wedding, took it with me as travel knitting, and completed it during that week I was home sick. I used size 7 needles, 3 balls of gorgeous Debbie Bliss Cashmerino astrakhan yarn in #09 moss, and knitted many, many rows of garter stitch. And there is a hat to go with it!

Also, in case you missed it, the Anti-Craft came out with issue #5.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Saturday Sky

Saturday drive along the 495 Beltway. Just about the pass the castle... that's what I call it anyway. Really it's a Mormon temple. Though you can't really tell from this picture, this year's fall foliage is the best we've had down here in years. And still, makes me miss living up north. Until it gets colder, then I'll be thankful again that we moved south.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Red Scarf lunch

Yesterday was my red scarf lunch at work. One person in our group, Shirley, finished crocheting her first scarf but I didn't have my camera when she brought it in.
Red Scarf lunch
Clockwise from the top: Erin B's, Meryl's, mine, and Mari's

I'll have to get a move on mine once all my Christmas knitting is done... so, after I'm done one sweater, one poncho, one scarf, three hats, and an air hose cosy. And this was supposed to be the year that I didn't knit that many presents because I was staying home!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Not so pretty in pink

Is it just me or is this pattern wrong? It says place marker... and then many times after tells you to knit until marker. And never does it say to move the marker. But then all the increases aren't in the center and one side has 19 stitches and the other side has more and more. Or is it supposed to be like this? Erin? Harriet? Damn free patterns. Never really sure if I can trust them. Does anyone have contact information for Gayle Bunn? Maybe I could ask her. Or maybe I need to start over using a different pattern.

This project will be on hold until I figure it out.

Edited to add: I think Trish is absolutely right. And such an obvious answer. MI before the marker. Why couldn't the pattern be more clear? Anyone else agree?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

National Blog Posting Month

Not that I don't write post fairly frequently... but still, I like the idea as a motivational tool and the rules are easy: post every day for the month of November. Plus the prizes are cool. Thanks to Katie for signing up too!

The hardest part of NaBloPoMo will probably be getting myself to blog on the weekends, or during Thanksgiving. There will probably be a lot less photos and pictures... but I will try my best, since it's often the photos that accompany the text that is my favorite part about reading other people's blogs.

If you have a topic you'd like me to explore or a question you'd like me to answer, let me know... otherwise I might veer toward "what I had for breakfast today" or "what I watched on TV last night." On the other hand, if that won't drive you away, I don't know what will...

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

I love Halloween. Dressing up and eating candy? What's not to love? Growing up, my favorites were those little packs of mini jujubes. My mom used to use them to make cookies for us. Here's a look into Halloween past:

Me and my sister dressed up as Strawberry Shortcake. My mom made the costumes.

My bestfriend Kristina and me in highschool. She was "night" and I dressed up as a man. The suit is my Dad's. The socks are Christmas themed.

Me and my friend Justin in university. I was visiting him in Ann Arbor and he was having a party at his house. I was a witch and he was a pirate.

And fun for you... Carve a virtual pumpkin!