Saturday, December 31, 2011

It's been real, 2011...

...The other night, Ricky and I were discussing 2011.  It wasn't an awful year, but it also wasn't the easiest.  We both had to face some tough things in our lives, though I feel the experiences made us grow as people in the long run.  We've also grown quite closer, helping each other out when things got tough.  These experiences, though, are a bit personal, and not meant to be written about in a public blog.  But if you know either of us personally, you know it's had its ups and downs.  There were tears, and stressed sighs, and harumphs from both of us all twelve months.  Speaking with some friends of ours, it seems the whole year was rough on many people.  I, personally, am ready to be done with the whole year and start fresh. 

That being said, 2011 had its high moments.  Our trip to Vermont was the loveliest few days I've ever spent.  I fell in love with Northern Vermont, and if we could I'm pretty sure I'd change my random musings from the 0-1-9-7-0- to random musings from the 0-5-4-0-1.

We've discussed a return to Burlington soon for another vacation, so I'm sure there will be more stories and photos from Lake Champlain in the months or years to come.

We also adopted this little guy:

And any year which involves that face has its merit.  Since February, Lewis PizzaCat has charmed and snuggled his way into our hearts.  He's grown up a lot since this photo was taken (from 1.9 lbs to 11 lbs) but he's still the snuggly baby we adore and obsess over.

So, 2011, I am glad you're going to be over.  You were rather unkind in many parts.  I'm hoping 2012 is bright and fresh and new and exciting.  I have high expectations for sure.

Friday, December 30, 2011

A hat

One of my goals for 2012 is to knit items that have been in my queue for a long time that I haven't gotten to yet, along with using up my yarn in my stash.  A perfect marriage of these two ideas came when I decided to make the #1 item in my queue since April 2008 with a random half skein that I've been holding onto for awhile.  Behold, my version of The Republic Hat.

I really like this pattern, especially since it was quick to whip up.  It took me about 24 hours to make the hat.  I started it Christmas morning and by the end of the following day, I was wearing it.  I like how the hat has the spirit of a curled brim hat knit in the round, but is a bit fancier with the garter edge and the button.  I used a bit of Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky I had sitting around.  I'm not sure how much of a skein I had leftover, but I'd say half of one would do fine.  The button is from Windsor Button.

This hat is sooo warm.  I wore it yesterday when I was walking around Salem, and my head was perfectly warm.  I like slightly larger hats that can cover my ears, since I walk to the train and then to work and when it's freezing my head/ears need protection.  This will do nicely once it gets freezing and snowing in January.

I strongly recommend this pattern, since it's quick and easy to knit up and has some visual interest to it.  This would also make a great gift for someone.  I may make one for my mom or Ashley down the road.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Stash organized!

Thursday afternoon, and here's my to do list, with things done crossed off:

Grown Up Friend Date with Patti.
Clean my closet. 
Clean computer room. 
Get materials for Jess' ring pillows.
Knit something with quince yarn.  
Organize stash. 
Make shepherd's pie for Ricky for dinner.  Update:  make something in crock pot (thanks, Ricky's mom!)
Find shoes for Jess' wedding.
Donate things to good will.
Fix sewing machine tension.
Make ring pillows.
Another secret project for Jess' wedding and also for Erin's wedding

So so far, I'm doing quite well.  I haven't heard from Patti or Jess yet about hanging out or if she still wants ring pillows, respectively, so those may just be on hold.  The computer room is slowly being cleaned, bit by bit each day.  The bags of good will are by the door.  Basically the sewing machine is the only thing that hasn't been attempted.

The clean closet feels great.  It's easy to manage, and I feel better about it.  I was able to throw out a lot.  (note to self:  there's no need to keep the packaging and documents affiliated with a phone you haven't had in over 4 years)

The yarn stash was a bit daunting at first, but once I decided on a process, it went quickly.  I'm glad I emptied it all out in a big pile to sort, but dear lord did my heart skip a beat seeing that huge pile at first.  It's amazing how much yarn you can accrue over the years! 
Before... eeek!

I decided to have all the lace weight and sock yarn in the small tupperware, and then devote one big tupperware to all the yarn I have that I have a lot of (i.e., I could make a sweater out of) and then the other one to all the random one skeins I have that can be for smaller projects.  The basket is still what I had it for originally, which is the ends of skeins that I can use if I want a small amount of yarn for trim or whatever.  2012 is going to be a year of knitting through my stash, so I'm hoping that if I take a photo of these containers in a year, they won't be as stuffed.  I've already knit a hat out of some leftover yarn, so I think I'm on the right track.

After... muuuuch better.

I full acknowledge that this is perhaps the most boring post I've ever written.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Quince cowl

Two things have been checked off my list!  First, I made something with my Quince yarn, and secondly, I organized my stash.  The stash photos will come later in the week.  But first, I want to show off my cowl.

When Ricky and I went to Portland, I purchased two skeins of Quince.  At the time, the company was just starting out, and only had a handful of patterns.  Not thinking (I was on vacation, after all) I purchased a skein of honey and a skein of pomegranate.  They did not go together AT ALL.  So they've been languishing in my stash for awhile now.  I decided that for winter break, I needed to use it up.

Well after finishing my Christmas knitting, I got ambitious and decided to just knit something out of it for Christmas instead.  I found a simple seed stitch cowl on Ravelry, and then found an example of someone making it on a smaller scale in Quince.  I decided that this was the route I wanted to go.  I measured how long I wanted it on me and off I went.

I did a lot of work on it in a coffee shop in Cambridge waiting for my old roommates to arrive in Harvard Square and have dinner with me, and also on the train.  I've definitely been enjoying whipping out smaller projects while commuting, since I've been getting a lot of satisfaction out of finishing them in only a matter of days.  I think 2012 will have a sweater project in it, but for now, I'm just focusing my energies on smaller projects to use up some yarn and make gifts for people.

This project was insanely easy.  It was done by December 23rd and I was wearing it all day on Christmas Eve.  It's not the warmest, but I like how it's more of a "I want to be kind of warm" or "I want to look cool" cowl.  I also love the color, though after seeing it on me, it makes me question my desire to knit myself a whole sweater out of this color.  Small projects against my hair and skin tone might be best, instead of a giant one all over me. 

BTW, because I got a crock pot from Ricky's mom for Christmas, Shepherd's Pie has changed to a stew or something I can make in a crock pot.  Very excited about that one!  I think today's projects will be starting the computer room, and maybe finding shoes.  We'll see.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas knits: the boys' hats

A few years ago, I made my brothers fingerless mitts for Christmas.  While this was fun, it was perhaps a bit too ambitious to start them in December, since I was a slower knitter and barely finished them.  Or, if I recall correctly, I only finished one mitt for each and then made the other two while they were on winter break.  There we go, that's it.  This year, I decided to just stick with hats, particularly because they both lost a mitt (ugh) and also because I didn't have as much time to focus on something that small and detailed with all the other knitting projects I had to do this time of year.

I made a bit ago the Turn a Square hat by Jared Flood for Erin's boyfriend, Matt.  He liked it, and with the scrap yarn I made myself a hat.  Matt had requested another striped hat for Christmas, so I decided to make one for him out of whatever scrap yarn I had from Pete's hat. 

Because Pete's a redhead, I decided to go with browns and greens.  This is also the color of his winter coat.  Matt's looks similar to Pete's, except that his is more darker grey stripes and less brown and green.  Sam likes blue more, so I went with various colors of blue.  The skein of striping yarn for Sam also included some greys and whites, which helped not make it too blue, if that makes sense.  I really like how they turned out, and I think they both liked them.  I used Cascade 220 for both solid colors and then Noro Silk Garden for the self striping.  Noro's colors are lovely, and I like how Cascade both highlights and mellows it.  Also, it's a very warm hat, since I've been wearing mine a lot while walking to the train and then work.  Quite pleased with it.

Mum was so impressed by Sam's hat, that she's requested her own.  Fortunately, you can make two hats from a skein of Cascade 220 and a skein of Noro Silk Garden with this pattern, so I have all the materials already!  Hers will be a bit brighter of blue, but that's fine.  When I finish that hat, I'll post the photos of both that hat and Matt's hat. 

Again, here are Ricky and I modeling Christmas hats by the water.  (in case you were wondering, we went out for Breakfast, and then grabbed all the Christmas knits and took photos of them before wrapping them up)  Ricky's wearing Pete's hat, and I'm wearing Sam's. 

I can't post the rest of Christmas knitting right now since I haven't given it away yet, so I'll be posting some of the to do list accomplishments I've completed so far.  (hooray!)  My list may also have been too ambitious, because Ricky got me Price is Right for the wii and I am hoooooked.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas knits: Beth's cowl

Now that Christmas is over and most of my Christmas knits have been distributed, I'm going to blog about them.  The first will be the cowl I gave Ricky's mom Beth.  Beth's had a hard few months, and she's always been very sweet to me, so I wanted to make her a nice hand knit this year.  And, since time was of the essence, I went with a cowl.

My friend (and new mom!) Crystal of Domesticated Human recently published a cowl pattern she made for a gift using one skein of Malabrigo.  I love Malabrigo merino worsted for it's soft squishiness, and thought that Beth would as well.  I had a skein of a light purple -- I thought I'd like the color when I purchased it, but no such luck -- that I decided to use, since it's a color she'd enjoy.

Knitting this up was a breeze.  It only took a few days of knitting on the train, and I was finished.  I decided to go up a needle size to make the drape looser and also because Beth is taller and her features are larger than Crystals.  (she's like 5'10")  I'm glad I did, since it did make it a lot looser.  I loved how the dropped stitches looked, and it made for an interesting pattern.

I modeled it by the ocean to take photos for ravelry and also here.  It was definitely warm and soft, so I'm glad I picked this yarn for the gift.  I gave it to her yesterday, and she LOVED it.  So much.  Ricky was even touching it and she joked with him not to, in case it got damaged (note:  it won't, it's quite sturdy).  I'm glad I made it for her, since she definitely appreciated it and will get a lot of use out of it.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

On the lookout

I took this photo and told Ricky that Lewis was waiting for Santa and looking out the window for him.  I think in reality, he's watching birds, but I thought it was funny.  If only it was snowing or there was a soft reflection of Christmas lights, then it'd be perfect.  Lewis spends a large portion of the day sitting this like:  sitting on the back of the couch with his paws on the window sill, watching birds outside.  It's quite cute.

Friday, December 23, 2011


We're going to my friend from high school holiday party tonight -- dubbed Friendmas -- and the cookies are all packed and ready to go.  Chocolate and peppermint and gingerbread with lemon icing.  I hope they are well received!

I always enjoy Friendmas, because it's a nice way to see old friends and catch up when not at a wedding.  We're all just there to hang out.And now that people are settling down and pairing off, it's also nice to have a big ol' party with spouses and what not.  There's also a lot of good food.  And it's in Beverly.  So a pretty winning combination.

The rest of the weekend will be quite busy, so it's good to have this party tonight.  Christmas Eve is devoted to Ricky's family, and Christmas day to mine.  A lot of running around and time in the car, but it'll be good.

I also finished all my Christmas knitting, and they are blocking.  Tomorrow will involving taking photos to document projects, and then I'll share them here.  I must say, I think they all turned out quite nicely. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas traditions

As Ricky and I get older and celebrate more holidays together, we've decided to create our own Christmas traditions that are ours.  One that I've enjoyed two years in a row is to travel into Cambridge on a weekend and see It's a Wonderful Life at the Brattle Theatre, then walk around Harvard Square to Christmas shop, eat snacks, and enjoy treats.  Today we went into the city and did just that.

There's something I really love about The Brattle.  I think because it's a small, no frills, independent theatre that plays both large hits and old classics.  I've seen lots of movies here, and it's great seeing movies that I was unable to see on the big screen.  It also feels great supporting a small, independent theatre, something I fear is disappearing in this day and age.

After the movie, we got our standard lunch at Cafe Crema (mmmm) and a dessert at Burdicks, and walked around only slight.  It was waaaaay too cold to do our normal loop.  I saw recently that a Burdicks is opening down the street from where I work, so perhaps there will be more chocolate penguins and teas in my future.

I think it's great that the longer we're together, we're establishing our own traditions for holidays and memories.  Our trip to see It's A Wonderful Life is something I'll look forward to every year for a long time.  It's a nice wintertime date day.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Winter Break Goals

It's like "mini resolutions".

One of the joys of working in education is that I have lots and lots of holidays off.  I also have the week between Christmas and New Years off, as the college closes.  This is, especially after years in the private sector, completely magical.  The whole school is off, and there's no pressure to check email or catch up.  I love it.

Many of my friends, however, do not have this time off, so I find myself with a week almost completely to myself.  This is okay with me, though, as I'm using it as a week to catch up on things.  A mini-GSD week, as it were.  I made a checklist, which I will update as that week progresses:

Grown Up Friend Date with Patti.  My friend/old roommate is a teacher, so we both have a week to ourselves.  We've resolved to grab lunch and catch up.

Clean my closet.  It's become a catch all for all my crap, and now I can't see the bottom of the floor or the crap I've thrown in there.  Time to tackle.

Clean computer room.  Not as bad as the closet.  This is the room where we put things that we don't want Lewis to eat.  But it needs some order of semblance.

Get materials for Jess' ring pillows.  I'm in a wedding in March, and I've been asked to make two ring pillows for it:  one is pink, and the other is the color of The Boston Bruins.  (I'll probably be leaving out gold or just have it as an accent)

Knit something with quince yarn.  I have a ball of this, that's been sitting in my stash since I purchased it in July of 2010.  I want to wear it.  Probably as a cowl.

Organize stash.  With all the Christmas knitting, there are balls of yarn everywhere.  And it's chaos.  I need to make it not be chaos.

Make shepherd's pie for Ricky for dinner.  I love a recipe I found for this that has ground turkey, lots of veggies, and no tomatoes.  I think it'll be a dinner one of the nights, since it is a bit time consuming.

Find shoes for Jess' wedding.  I need a pair of pewter heels.  I've been a giant failure to date in finding a pair that I like and don't hurt my feet.  This is the week to find those shoes.

Donate things to good will.  This will free up some closet floor space.

Fix sewing machine tension.  It's been wanky for a year now, time to fix it so I can use it!

Make ring pillows.  Photos will be posted of this, I am sure.

Another secret project for Jess' wedding and also for Erin's wedding.  Secrets secrets.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Name that tune

Today an ensemble was playing a song in the room next to my office, and it got stuck in my head.  I knew the song, but couldn't place it.  I then spent about 15 minutes googling various things to try and find it.  I knew the following things:

--It was from the late 60's/early 70's
--It was used in an old game show
--It was also used in an old meme this girl Chloe I went to high school with used to love when we were in high school.

And (not) surprisingly, it was hard anything on the internet using all of those criteria!

After lunch, I decided to try to find it using the instrument that I heard playing it -- marimba -- and lo and behold, I FOUND THE SONG.

Spanish Flea by Herb Alpert.  You will also recognize it as the bachelor music from The Dating Game:

Note:  I changed the video, because I found a better one in all its 60's television music spot glory.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Midnight Breakfast

I learned earlier in the year that my college President would be retiring.  He put in 12 good years, and was all-around liked by the community, even naming a building after him in celebration of a job well done.  HC's website has been marking the "lasts" of Fr. McFarland's tenure, which is bittersweet for sure.  But today, I read about a "last" that for some reason hit really close to home.

Fr. McFarland is serving his last Midnight Breakfast with the senior staff at HC.  I don't know why, but this struck a chord with me, as Midnight Breakfast was one of my favorite memories of college.  Every night of Finals Week, staff and faculty members would stay out late and serve breakfast to the overtired, overworked Crusaders.  It was a nice way to break up days of stressful studying and paper writing (and for me, play directing) by meeting friends in Crossroads to read, edit papers, and drink way too much coffee while eating egg sandwiches.  I remember in those broke college student days making sure I budgeted enough in that last week to get orange juice, an egg sandwich, and that side of bacon to stuff into said egg sandwich. 

I know that others went regularly, but I mainly remember meeting up with my friends Tim, Jess, and Karin at Midnight Breakfast.  We were also the crew who spent way too much time in the campus center on couches, reading and drinking coffee and being slightly bitchy.  I also remember making plans to see people or study with certain classmates at Midnight Breakfast.  It was the place to go when being in your room or one of the libraries was a bit too much.

Fr. McFarland would always be there night one, happy to scoop out homefries to the busy students, always trading in his priestly attire for jeans and a plaid shirt.  I don't know why, but this always charmed me. 

So I'm sad to see Fr. McFarland leave the community, and it makes me think fondly of my four years at college all over again.  I only hope the next president enjoys his time at midnight breakfast, and has a trusty plaid shirt to don while scooping out eggs.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A big day for a little guy

Ummm, I'm the cutest cat ever.
Today Lewis turns one!  We didn't adopt him until February, so we didn't know the little peanut until he was about 9 weeks old.  It's hard to believe, though, that my baby kitten is now a kid cat. 

(note, what I'm writing next points that I may be a crazy person when it comes to my cat)

Every morning, when my morning alarm goes off, Lewis comes running from wherever he is in the house and jumps on my chest and immediately starts purring and cuddling.  I honestly can say in all my cat-owning years, I've never met a cat who is that affectionate and snuggly.  So to the haters... cats can be loving if they are special cats.

Anyways, this morning after he ran in to snuggle me before I got out of bed, I sang him happy birthday and then treated him to his favorite cat food (which is going out of business... that's a story of meltdowns for another day).  Ricky also gave him some yogurt.  I'm sure we'll do something equally crazy tonight.  That being said, my coworker told me she makes her dog a carob cake every year for her dog's birthday... so on the sliding scale, I feel like I'm looking pretty good.

So today is just a little shout out to my favorite cat, Lewis PC.  And when I say he's a little guy... it's true.  He's only 11 lbs.  The photo is of him sitting on the back of the couch and having his paws on the windowsill as he looked out the window at birds, cars, and leaves.  It was quite cute.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

And... in tribute to everyone's favorite fake WWI Vet who's also a fake Korean War Vet

It's been real, Harry Morgan.

Seventy Years

70 years and never forgotten...

Making my apartment prettier, one minor art project at a time

I needed a bit of a hiatus after posting (mostly) every day for a month.  It's tiring!

I wanted to share a neat project I just completed to make my apartment look a little nicer.  Ricky and I don't have a headboard, mainly because we want to wait and get a real bed once we have a house/upgrade to a Queen mattress.  In the meantime, I wanted to make something to give our bed a bit more substance.

A while ago, I received a postcard from my friend Kirsten.  It was the Penguin Books cover of The Garden Party, by Katherine Mansfield.  I've always loved the look of Penguin Books, and asked where she got the postcard.  It turns out there's a postcard set that sells 100 popular Penguin Books covers as postcards for quite cheap.  I purchased it, and decided to make collages of the book covers and frame it to make a cool "headboard".

Ricky made one and I made the other.  We went through all the covers and "claimed" which ones we wanted to use.  They were either books that meant a lot of us personally, or book covers that looked neat.  I bought two posters and two frames, along with some rubber cement.  We lined them up, glued them to the poster, and then framed the posters. 

I really liked how it turned out.  The colors are varied, but because they were all made by the same publishing company, the colors work well together and look similar enough.   We're going to try to hang them later in the week, and after that, I'll take more photos of it.

I can't stress enough at how easy this project is.  We have extra postcards, so we're going to make one for the living with just the titles (i.e., no covers with actual artwork on it, just the plain books) over the winter.  I'll take photos of that, too.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Would this be a good gift?

After going to a bajillion seven weddings this year, I've begun to think about creative gifts to give that aren't just cash or a gift from Crate and Barrel.  I have some good ideas for the weddings of 2012, but I saw this cool pattern on the Purl website for something called the Eleventh Hour Blanket.  It's inspired by their pattern for a scarf that takes less than a day to finish up.

It looks so cozy and wonderful!  What a great throw this would be for a bedroom or living room.  And I think it'd be cute to do it in something that refers to their wedding colors.  It calls for big needles and knitting double, so it'd be a quick knit.

The yarn it calls for is wonderful (Cascade Magnum) and all the supplies total of about $160-180.  So it's a pricey blanket, but I feel like something homemade could be more meaningful than a check.  And... I can knit, so I sometimes feel like for all these events it'd be great if I could my powers for good.  And I know from experience that when I made my friend Jaime a baby blanket for her baby shower, she really appreciated it and it gets a lot of good use. 

But is it cheesy to make a blanket for someone?  Do people getting married just want money or something more practical like wine glasses? 

It seems appropriate...

...that I forgot to blog last night, since this has been a theme this time around.  Last night we went out to dinner with my friends Joanna and Jason, which was a lot of fun.  Some light ranting, a lot of giggling, and random joking.  It was, I think, exactly what the four of us needed on a Tuesday night.  Then when we got home, I pretty much put on yoga pants and made that slow descent into bed.

Again, I lead a very exciting life here.

I'll blog twice today again.  I might post a knitting project I saw and want to try and make for someone in the future as a future gift.  But we'll see.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Almost forgot to blog

I've been deep in Christmas knitting tonight, so I almost forgot to blog.  I obviously can't show you or talk about Christmas knitting, so instead...

Here's a photo of a puppy and a kitten.  The puppy may be a Muppet, I can't tell for sure.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Doctor is in

I recently listened to a TBTL episode that was a tribute to some of the best "I Love You, Chunk" spots.  The last one was about Doctor Who, the longtime British science fiction series.  I've been curious about Doctor Who for awhile now, probably since I saw the Freaks and Geeks where Bill dresses up as The Doctor after surviving eating a peanut.   My friend Jess also named her two cats after the show (Rose and The Doctor).  Ravelry also has tons of patterns on how to make that scarf pattern.  But hearing two people wax poetic about how great the series is -- that and having a Saturday night to myself to start working on Christmas knitting -- sealed the deal, and I rented the most recent series on Netflix.

I am hooooooooooked.

I've watched six episodes so far.  Right now I'm watching the 9th doctor, but I think in about five episodes David Tennant shows up.  I like how there's an overarching story and history to the series, but that each episode can also stand alone.  Ricky compared it to Quantum Leap a bit, which I can see.

I'm also a fan of all the jokes about his identity that travel from episode to episode right now.  Like what's his name and if he's an alien why does he have a Northern British accent (because every planet has a north).  I'm glad that I picked it up, and that I have something to watch while knitting.  I don't think I'll go back and watch the other series, only because that's a lot of programs to catch up on, but I'm fine with that.

I definitely recommend checking it out, especially since it's streaming on Netflix.  Also, here's some classic Doctor Who for some audio for this post.

Old school theme from Tom Baker-era (the doctor with the long scarf that Bill dresses as):

Who doesn't love that theme?  It's so retro feeling and also epic!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Now that Thanksgiving's over...'s officially time for two things in my book.

Listening to Christmas music on WODS.  (I realize that I posted that carol earlier in the week, but that was inspired by a conversation I had recently)

(I wish they'd play this)

Drinking Hood Egg Nog.

(Side note, when I tried to find a picture of Hood Egg Nog, the first one I clicked on was from this blog last year.  I am nothing if not consistent)

I bought my first carton of egg nog last night, and today when running errands we listened to carols.  It's nice to start getting into the swing of things!

A&J King was selling egg nog cheesecakes, which I can't wait to try.  They looked incredible this afternoon.  I'm also tempted to try and make my own egg nog and see how it shapes up.  Mmmmm

Friday, November 25, 2011

Today's the day

I'm going to see The Muppets.  This is a day years in the making.

I've been obsessively reading everything I could about this movie since I heard Jason Segal was writing the script.  I'm losing it with excitement.  LOSING IT.

Amanda says that in my life I've minored in Muppet studies.  My high school yearbook quote was from Jim Henson.  I made TWO tiles in the high school devoted to Muppets.  I've scoured ebay for Christmas Eve on Sesame Street.  This moment was built for me.  Gaaaaahhhhhhh

I will also probably cry with joy and an overwhelming feeling.  Enjoy that visual.

In the meantime, listen to this Fresh Air interview with the writers of the movie, along with this classic Muppet moment.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving from..., Charlie, Jed, Leo (briefly), The Butterball hotline, Toby, Joe Bethersenten, and the person sou chef to the king of... auto sales in Fargo.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


While taking the train into work this morning, I began to make a list in my head of things I am thankful for in 2011.  I think 2011 has been, at times, even more emotionally trying than 2010, so I feel perhaps even more thankful than usual for these things:

Lewis PizzaCat
Alva (still healthy and happy as a clam!)
My health and the health of my family
My friends
Having a reasonably priced apartment
My love of knitting
My job
Shopping local and the growing popularity of that concept
Friends being in love (but that being said, I am thankful that I don't have to go to another wedding for 4 months!)
Freshly baked goods
Hot tea
Tasty wine
My apartment appearing more and more like an adult lives there and not a college grad with a non-matching set of furniture
Long weekends to Vermont
Farmer's Markets
Salem Restaurant Week
Warm wool socks
Mashed potatoes
The Landry brothers
Comfy shoes
Blogs that post pretty things (looking at you, Apartment therapy)
Not moving in 2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I wish I could find this song as a stand alone on iTunes

Because it's SO GOOD.  And crazy.  Mainly a little crazy.  Or a lot crazy.

Listen to that banter.  It's crazy.  Sir Percival?  Asking Bing Crosby if he likes contemporary music (answer:  obviously not, it's Bing Crosby).  Ohhh my God it's so amazingly weird.

But then it gets all awesome when they start singing.  Well done, Bing and Bowie.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Who would wanna be such a control freak?

Today feels like it needs the melancholy of Modest Mouse's Bukowski.  It's a little chilly out, which comes as a shock to the system after such a nice weekend, weather-wise.  I've always loved this song, and this whole album reminds me of my senior year of college.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A very John Candy weekend

Ricky has found out that there are giant, gaping holes in my movie-watching history.  Namely, almost all of the John Hughes cannon, and the movie Stripes.  He wanted to remedy both this weekend.

Saturday night, after a memorable sushi date, we watched Planes Trains and Automobiles.  I had wanted to see this one also because of an in joke we have about work.  That and Thanksgiving is just around the corner, so it seemed appropriate.  I really liked it!  It was funny, and not too gross or dragging, like some movies of a similar ilk can be (Due Date... parts of Home Alone even). 

Tonight, we decided to tackle Stripes.  It was a shorter movie, and we weren't feeling like watching something too emotionally daunting.  I also liked it, but I think he liked it a lot more.  It was funny and great to see so many members of SCTV pop up.  We also enjoyed seeing John Larroquette, who we nicknamed Poppa Larroquette after the Uhh Yeah Dude podcasts.

All in all, a very funny and also very Canadian comedian movie weekend.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


I mentioned that last weekend I went to Marblehead.  It was really nice walking around, taking a few photos of the area, and enjoying a perfectly crisp fall day.  This is my favorite one from the day, since I love that it's an old lantern and in the reflection, you can see other parts of the town.  We mainly stuck to the older part of "downtown" Marblehead.  I say "downtown" because it all feels very residential in comparison to Salem or even Beverly.

I blame Dan

My plan was to post something, but I went to my friend Dan's birthday party, where we played games and drank beer all hours of the night.  We also learned about everyone's favorite retired cop now toll booth collector, Johnny Nickles.  It was a great way to spend Friday night.

As an apology, here's a cute photo of a schnauzer puppy.  I knew you'd like it.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Breaking news

I'm pretty sure our friend Papows... actually Shel Silverstein.

Whaaaaat the hell.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Not this post, just the weather.  If it was about this post, it'd probably be called "slightly boring!"

It's really nasty outside.  And did I have a hat, umbrella, or wellies on?  Nope!  Because I'm a moron and it was sunny when I left for work this morning... because in my world, if it's sunny at 7am, it will still be sunny and pleasant at 6pm.  So I walked home tonight in the dark rain, and came home very wet and cold.  My walk isn't long, but when it's dark, cold, and dreary out... it gets a lot longer.

To warm up, I'm indulging in one of my favorite things in the whole world... baked sweet potatoes.  I love them so much.  It's baking right now, and I'm sitting here in comfy pants, dreaming of the toppings I may put on it.  Because that's how exciting life has become these days.

So I don't just eat a sweet potato, I'm also going to pan fry some brussel sprouts and put them with cranberries.  It'll be quite tasty.

While I'm honestly pumped for my dinner, this is a day my friend Bob didn't up and move to New Jersey, so I could beg him to make me tasty foods and ply me with fancy cocktails.  Sadly, I don't think something warm and tasty would travel well from that distance.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Late night postings

I can't even believe that Thanksgiving is in a little over a week.  Insane.  Still not sure where I'm spending it or what I'll be making.  I think I'll be spending it at my aunt's house and making a pie, and then visiting Ricky's family, but I'm not entirely sure. 

I'm trying to debate what's my favorite Thanksgiving side dish.  So hard!  Honestly it's my grandfather's homemade noodles, but that's more a my family side.  His mother and others before her always made her own noodles.  My attempts at noodles have always been poor, but I think now that I'm older I'll try to improve so I can carry it on.  But onto traditional sides, what is my favorite??  Is it...

corn bread stuffing?

sweet potato casserole?

green bean casserole?


Mashed potatoes?

Internets land, what is your favorite side dish?

Blogger fail AGAIN

I was going to post something last night after dinner and before bed... but then I got sucked into Diane Sawyer's special on the recovery of Gabrielle Giffords after her shooting last year, and was reduced to a crying puddle by 11pm.  There was no way I was in a state to blog or blog well.  It would have been a lot of phrases and pauses and probably a sad song by Coldplay.

It was inspiring and she's doing amazingly well for being shot in the brain, but it's clear that many of her goals -- furthering her work in Congress, having children with her husband -- will probably not happen now.  But considering she was shot in the brain 10 months ago, she's astounding.  Ricky and I were both crying in bed watching it.  Me more than Ricky. 

So this just means I'll be posting twice today.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

But I don't feel afraid as long as I gaze at Waterloo Sunset

Sunday is errand day, so we'll be running around a lot, prepping for the work week.  With that in mind, here's one of my favorite songs by The Kinks.  I wish this version was available on iTunes!

Also, if you're interested in a whole awesome album by The Kinks, I strongly recommend checking out Arthur or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire.  About a year ago, I was in a restaurant in Boston and they played the whole album from start to finish while I was there, and it was pretty great.  (this is the album that Victoria and Shangri-La comes from)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Weekend plans

The Food Network version of an egg sandwich.  Mine are simpler...
After a quiet thoughtful day yesterday, Ricky and I are back at it and planning to have a nice little (albeit busy) weekend.  It's nice, though, because now that Weddingocaplyse 2011 is over, there's a significant rise in flexibility with our time.  Today is a friend's 30th birthday, but during the day I think we're going to walk around Marblehead and poke around in shops and get coffee.  It's funny, it's right next door but we almost never go there unless forced.  I'm wondering why.

Right now, though, we're enjoying a newly forming weekend tradition of egg sandwiches and coffee while watching tv.  We did this the last few weekends, and it's almost better than going out to breakfast.  When I was single/lived alone, egg sandwiches were a regular meal staple.  So there's something sweet about having them now together.  Reclaiming egg sandwiches, as it were.

Friday, November 11, 2011

A thoughtful day

I didn't have a plan to write anything up for today, being that it's Veteran's Day and some personal things going on (Ricky and I are fine).  Today is just perhaps a moment to think.  Think of those who did serve or are serving, for sure.  I think the message of Veteran's Day is stronger every year for me, as I know more people who serve the country.  My being a civilian my whole life is a gift thanks to them. 

And think of those you love, and if they're having troubles, think about them, and ways you can help them out.  And if things are going well in your life, be fortunate of that.

Sorry if this is deep and vague, but I had to get my thoughts out on a day of gratitude and thinking of those who serve.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Happy Birthday to Sinbad... and Tracy Morgan... and Pete

Today is Pete's birthday.  (there are a lot of family birthdays in early November)  When we were little, we joked that the only famous person that shared Pete's birthday was... Sinbad.

Whenever we'd talk about who shared our birthdays, Pete would joke that we had awesome people share our birthday... and he had Sinbad.

I recently discovered that he shares his birthday with another black comedian... Tracy Morgan!

So a big happy birthday to Pete and to the two black comedians I now associate him with in my head.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The world is now filled with a lot less young children-based puns...

I am in no way a fan of The Family Circus, but I did say "aww" when I heard that Bil Keane passed away.  More because The Family Circus has been a present my whole life.  When I was a little kid, I found it cute in that "gee willickers" sort of way.  Then, as I got older and and my sense of humor became a bit more advanced and refined, I pretty much stopped reading it.  But it was nice that Keane was so consistent... using the same jokes and ideas for 50 years. 

Erin once mailed me a Sunday Family Circus where she added a ghost (like those ghosts that he always had in his cartoons) that said "shut up, Jeffy, no one likes you!" which I found to be hilarious.  Because it's true.  No one likes that know it all pain in the ass Jeffy.  It's been hanging in every office I've had since I've received it.

So it's been real, Bil.  I hear your son has adopted The Family Circus, so at least it'll still be continuing.

I also wanted to post a cartoon from The Nietzsche Family Circus, which combines an image from The Family Circus with a quote from Nietzsche.  Mainly because I find this page hilarious in that "Garfield without Garfield" or "Kayne West tweets with cartoons from the New Yorker" sort of way.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


My mom turned 50 on Saturday, which is insane.  I made cupcakes (see photo) for the party her family threw for her.  They're chocolate buttermilk cake with a chocolate cream cheese frosting.  As we know, my mom loves whales, so I found dolphin sprinkles... which are as close as I could find to a whale sprinkle.

It's definitely odd having my mom turn 50, since I always felt like I was the friend who had the young mom.  (which is true... my mom is one of the youngest of my friends who are my age)  But I guess since I am growing older, I guess that makes sense.  And, if you think about it, my mom is still the young mom since she's only turning 50 now.  And I'm pushing 28.

It was a good party.  Everyone met up at a local restaurant that's a family favorite for BBQ and volleyball in the back yard.  Low key and definitely fun.  Only two cousins couldn't make it, since they go to college in far away states, so the turnout was quite impressive.

I'm glad we could give my mom a special day, since she deserves it and does so much for us.  She said she enjoyed it, so that's all we could ask for.

Blogger FAIL

I made it six days in NaBloPoMo before forgetting to post.


THAT'S IT???  Booooo me.

Last night at about 5am, I woke up realizing that I didn't write anything.  I had every intention to do so, but instead spilled an entire bottle of iced green tea in my bag, ruining a lot of paperwork in it and probably the bag itself, ate tacos at a Mexican restaurant, watched last week's Up All Night and snorted I was laughing so hard (I have a feeling I'll be dropping the quote "All my family talks about is football and Regis!" and mentioning a memorial montage involving one photo and someone's W-4's on a regular basis), knit for awhile, and then went to bed.  If you notice, none of those things are "posting on my blog about something".

I had every intention to do so, but it just didn't happen.  So I'll have to more than make up for it.  Perhaps with better and more interesting posts today.  I don't even know.

And yes, I realize that posting twice in one day isn't the same as posting one thing every day.  But it's how I decided in my mind that it'll compensate.  No judging.

Also, remember to vote today in your local elections.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


My reprieve from attending or being involved in weddings has ended.  I just picked up the bridesmaid dress for Jess and Giacomo's wedding in March.  It's now sitting in my closet, where it will probably sit for another 2 months.  Then I'll hand it off to get altered for short ol' me.  Erin should be giving me the dress for her wedding soon. These weddings will be #4 and 5 for weddings I've been in.

While being in two weddings next year will prove to be a busy later winter/late spring for me, I have a strong feeling it'll feel like a cake walk compared to 2011.  Ricky and I attended seven weddings, spanning from Western Mass to CT and all over the North Shore.  Only three weddings, all of which are pretty spread out over 6 months, is a gift.  And one of those weddings will involve driving 9 hours!

 I think in a few years, I want to have a bar crawl or a birthday party where my friends and I don our old bridesmaid dresses and get a little boozy.  This is in no way a creative or new idea, but on this post about bridesmaids it popped into my head.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

If I had a box just for wishes and dreams that had never come true, The box would be empty except for the memory of how they were answered by you...

Ricky and I have been watching the original Muppet Show on Netflix.  We just watched the Edgar Bergen episode (kind of awkward/painful, watching the two forms of puppetry try to find a common ground) but one moment I had forgotten about was the Muppet Show version of Time in a Bottle.  It was a quiet, sweet, and certainly wistful moment for the show.  I sometimes wonder if Henson knew that no matter what, there wouldn't be enough time for him to do everything he wanted to do and accomplish in his lifetime. 

I think I may even like this version more than Croce's version.

Also, giant shout out to my mom on her 50th birthday.  I just got back from a party for her with all my family, and took photos, but I will post them tomorrow.

Friday, November 4, 2011

More songs about buildings and hats

I will someday have a conversation about buildings and food, but today, we're talking about hats.

Turn a Square 1:  This went to Matt
Over the summer, Erin asked if I could make Matt a hat for the winter.  He liked cool colors along with black and gray, and wanted something with slight visual interest.  I've been eying Jared Flood's pattern Turn a Square for awhile now, but when I suggested making it for Ricky he shied away from the "bright colors" and "crazy pattern".  But Matt was game for... subtle color changes and stripes.

I made this using Cascade 220 in Jet (Jet!) and Noro Silk Garden in Band on the Run (kidding).  I liked that it was more of a charcoal gray for the Cascade, and I looooooved the Noro per usual.  The pattern is insanely easy, and a good first project for colorwork, since it's a good way to get a knitter started on changing colors with stripes.  I also loved the crown shaping, and will probably borrow it for other projects, since I liked how it sat on my head better.

What's also great is that I could make two hats out of these two skeins.  I presented both to Matt -- one was blue and green, and one was a lot more subtle with blue and a lot of blacks and grays -- and he went with the blue and green one.  I decided to keep the blue and gray one for myself.  I'm thinking of making these hats for my brothers or even my brother and his girlfriend for Christmas.

Turn a Square 2:  I kept it for a nice big warm hat that covered my ears
Here I am modeling both versions during warmer and simpler times.  This is in August, which is why things look lush and green around me.  

Thursday, November 3, 2011

This makes me inexplicably sad...

Probably because I have a lot of memories of going into the basement of the North Shore Mall with my mom, trying to find good gifts and discounts.  I'll probably make a trek soon for memories and discounts.

So it's been real, Filene's Basement.  My Beantown pride is sad because this is one less Boston-based department store that exists.  (I still am bitter about you, Macy's, for taking Filene's away from us)

Also, I'm a little pissed off I'll never have the option to compete in the Running of the Brides.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

It's cold, so let's talk about knitting.

The finished cowl at Sea Meadow Gift Shop.
I'm having a hard time determining when to give up my lighter fall coat for my heavier winter coat, especially since the temperature seems to rise quite a bit during my lunchtime walk.  And it seems like closing a chapter on warmer weather when you break out the winter coat full time.  Probably within a week or so, it'll be big green coat times.

Today, though, let's talk about a knit piece I made for Shana, since I feel like my knitting helps give my lighter coat a few extra days of wear since it keeps my head/neck/hands warm.  She had been asking me for a bit to make her a big cowl that she could wrap around her neck once, and could wear at work.  Knowing Shana well, though, I knew that she also would probably wearing this outdoors or on a boat, so I needed something sturdy and warm, too.  Her requests were for the following details:

--an olive green color
Modeling it wrapped around my neck twice.

--some sort of lace pattern that maybe had a zig zag quality
--can be wrapped around her neck twice so it can be worn both long and short

I found a pattern for a lace scarf that I was able to modify, which worked out perfectly.  It was a pattern inspired by ferns called Fern Lace Scarf.   The designer has it in a lace weight yarn, but I decided to do less repeats to make up for the larger yarn and needle size and added 3 stitches of garter stitch on either side for a finishing effect.  I had garter at the beginning and end of the project (which I kind of liked that effect that you could see it met in the middle) and grafted it together.  I felt quite clever.

The yarn is Malabrigo, which is perhaps my one true love when it comes to knitting.  I found a color named Olive, which screamed Shana.  It has a nice look when knit up, and it's also incredibly warm and easy to knit with, but also won't fall apart.  I've used this yarn on a lot of different gift projects.

I think I'd be more pleased with my efforts if I had accounted for one thing.  I only bought one skein of yarn... ROOKIE MISTAKE.  I should have bought 2 skeins so that they'd be the same dye lot.  Gahhhh.  I (of course) ran out of yarn and had to buy a new skein months later.  It was similar in color, and to the untrained eye you can't tell they're two different colors, but I can definitely see the differences in color.  Note to self:  always buy two skeins if it's a scarf.  Always.

Shana, however, couldn't tell.  Or she's too kind.  But she loved it.  I'm glad she liked it!  What inspired me to post this project is that she texted me that she's been wearing her cowl a lot, and it's been keeping her warm at work/has gotten some compliments.  So that's good.

I posted some photos of me modeling the finished product before giving it to Shana.  I'd definitely make another big cowl out of Malabrigo again... just make sure I buy two skeins for the project.  The photo of me with the cowl long to the left, you can see the two colors.  This is because of the flash, I think, since in person it's a little less jarring in contrast.  At least, that's what I keep telling myself in my head.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

NaBloPoMo times again?

I'm preparing to embark on my third annual National Blog Posting Month.  I feel like more this year I'm also seeing campaigns to write a novel or poetry this month.  Since I am talented at neither of these endeavors, I'm sticking to my little blog here.  I don't know why, but I'm dreading it this time around, even though it's voluntary and I sometimes feel some of my better posts and musings are based on forcing myself to write down my thoughts once a day. 

There are certainly some posts I have planned, including long overdue knitting updates, Halloween to recap, and the like, so that'll give me some blog fodder.  I also want to try and capture nice moments this fall.  So we'll see.

Gear up for a fun month of me posting my little heart out!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween in Salem

The Halloween party I normally go to every October isn't happening this year, and for a moment it seemed as though Ricky and I wouldn't be dressing up this year. But then my friend Rachel, a fellow Salem resident, decided to throw a party. Costume ON!

I don't know what it is, though, but I've had some costume malaise this year. No costume idea felt right, or perhaps felt too daunting. I weighed a few ideas, but nothing stuck. I was feeling a Halloween grump. (take that, Christmas, you're not the only holiday with grumps)

On Monday, though, Ricky and I were going to Savers for his Halloween idea (a pirate... but a real pirate, like the ones that are in the ocean now) and they had flyers with Halloween ideas for people like me: people who have no ideas of their own, and also refuse to buy a pre-made costume. One of them was... the slightly overdone but also extremely idea of Holly Golightly.

Aaaaand we have a winner.

I realize that about a bajillion girls before me have dressed up as this iconic call girl, but I'm okay with it. It's easy to pull off (black dress! Big sunglasses! Tiara! Pearls! Cigs!) and easily recognizable. I'm hoping I still have my prom queen tiara, but it's a little doubtful. I don't think I'll get the dress or pearls quite right, but I think whatever I find will do. I also plan on going to Coffee Time before the party to get a couple of danishes and a small coffee to go to complete the look.

Photos will be posted after the party. If you'd like to go down memory lane to see past Halloween costumes, here's a search I did on my Halloween blog posts. I also noticed that I never blogged about last year's costume, so I may need to remedy that later in the week.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

While watching Top Chef Just Desserts On Demand last night...

Ricky and I came to two conclusions:

1. Everyone on that show (other than Gail) needs to be told that their shit does, in fact, stink.

2. Orlando looks just like Montel Williams.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Another tribute to Steve Jobs

Last night, while Ricky and I were at a local Friendly's, drinking Fribbles after a stressful day and trying to relive our youth/save the franchise (more on that later), he got a text from a friend saying that Steve Jobs had passed away. I'm saddened by this, though unsurprised with his stepping down from Apple over the summer. He was not the robust man of even five years ago, and so I feared that it was only time.

We then spent the rest of our Fribble date night talking about the impact he had on our lives and the world. To say that Steve Jobs had a huge effect on our lives is an understatement. We both had iPods, and I'm debating making the plunge into the world of iPhones this fall or winter. I spent a lot of time in high school on the fashionable iMacs. Hell, my physics labs were completed on MacIntoshes. We went to see Toy Story 3 as a date. I remember how big of a deal it was to get an iPod mini as a Christmas gift in college. I'm typing this post while on a Mac and every student who meets with me is using their MacBook while getting phone calls on their iPhone.

I don't want to reinvent the wheel here by saying how much of a visionary he is (though I just kind of did) or how he left an indelible mark on technology, business, and marketing. If you go to Entertainment Weekly or Wired, you can see a timeline of just what he did. But there is a huge sadness that he has passed. Perhaps it's how it was when Edison passed. Or Disney. Or Einstein. That we lost a huge visionary who affected our lives in ways we may not even know. His legacy and his company's legacy will be discussed for generations.

I found the following video on Wired that splices together all of his presentations on the new apple products. From the early 80's on, the message is clear: I am a visionary, and I know that what I'm about to show you will affect our technology and how we live. There's a smugness to it, but then again... if you were Steve Jobs, wouldn't you be a little smug, too?

So thanks, Steve. It's been great.

Stolen from Kirsten

I grabbed this from Kirsten's tumblr. I'll be posting a more fitting tribute soon, but I thought this was an incredible post from Andrew Sullivan. The full article is here.

… I was at the gym when the [Palin] news broke, hence the late post. And, of course, the news was juxtaposed by the untimely death of Steve Jobs. Leonard Cohen once said of America that it was “the cradle of the best and the worst”. Today, we lost one of the very best in American history, a reticent genius and entrepreneur, an inspiration for countless of us who has changed the very fabric of our lives. And we also saw the end of the road for one of the very worst: a nasty, callow, delusional, vicious know-nothing, brewed in resentment, and whose accomplishments could fit on a postage stamp.

It’s a fitting comparison: achievement versus resentment, creativity versus narcissism, hope versus fear. I know which one will get the bigger headlines tomorrow. And there is some comfort in knowing it will pain her.

Friday, September 30, 2011

And for good measure

Some pictures of Lewis modeling our "new" couch (again, Thanks Crystal and Matt!) and our actually new curtains.

Lewis wasn't used to having so many comfortable throw pillows, so he loved the new couch a lot.

And to bring the room together, I got curtains. They're from Target, mainly because I don't trust them lasting long with a 10-month-old kitten running around. But look how big Lewis is looking!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What I did on my summer vacation

I realize that other than telling people about songs I like sporadically over the summer, I haven't really blogged much in the past few months. It's not that I've been sitting around quietly twiddling my thumbs. I've been busy. BUSY. I think the summer of 2011 will go down as one of my busier times. I don't know why, but the stars aligned and things got quite busy and full and important. And so I thought I'd sum up my summer, elementary school report-style:

Weddings, Weddings, Weddings!
2011 is the year of people falling in love and getting married. Or rather, being in love, but deciding that 2011 was the year they felt financially comfortable enough to have a wedding. By the end of 2011, I will have attended seven weddings this year. Yes. SEVEN. I've been forcing myself to not think about the finances of it, or else I'll get too stressed. In July, we had a wedding every weekend for three weeks in a row. I'm very happy for all my friends, but I'll also be happy when I have many months off in a row to rest up for being in two weddings in 2012.

This year marked my 5 year reunion from college. Ricky and I trekked to Worcester for a weekend back on the hill. It was nice, but also had bits of melancholy. I feel like sometimes reunions try to re-capture a moment in time from your life, but that it ultimately fails. We're not all college kids anymore on the same level. We all have jobs or in grad school, and our personal lives are also at different levels. It was a fun weekend, but parts of it rang sad and hallow.

Ricky and I took one of the few free weekends to escape to Vermont. (I did actually post photos from that! I blogged something this summer!) It was the best few days I've had in awhile, and a rewarding and relaxing vacation for sure. Driving the 4 hours with Ricky was nice to have some time just the two of us to talk and hang out, and then when we got there, we did a wide array of our favorite activities. My cousin lives up there, so it was nice to see her. We've since fantasized about a world where we could move full time to Vermont, but I don't think that'd happen for a few years. I highly recommend an escape to northern Vermont for everyone.

The Beach
Ricky and I have the luxury of growing up by the ocean. So in the summertime, since it's easier for us to get to a beach, we try to go as much as we can on weekends or days off. This year, I felt we were able to get several trips in, despite all the other business. We're definitely not beach bums, just people who enjoy the water and sitting outdoors.

Two key friends moved far away
This summer two of my friends up and moved. Both were for the best, but it was still bittersweet to see them go. The first was my friend Dave, who got a job in Vermont. He had been trying to find something he liked in his field that was full time for a long time, so I was very happy for him. And, as I mentioned, I (not so) secretly want to someday live in Vermont and eat only from farmer's markets all day long. Secondly was my friend Crystal. She and her husband moved back to England, where he is from. I know that this is something she's wanted for a long time, so I am beyond excited for them. AND they're expecting a baby, so it's great that she'll be closer to family. Crystal gave me her living room set (well, more like sold it to me for dirt cheap) so I always have a little bit of Crystal in my life. I wish them both.

One important concert
This summer, my mom, brothers, Ashley, Ricky and I went to see Big Audio Dynamite. This was huge in my book, since I grew up listening to them and loving them. And we got very close spots at the House of Blues. It was amazing being that close to Mick Jones. He's aged decently well, and he still had the energy to put on a great show. They played all the songs of my childhood, which was equally key.

So yeah! That's how I pretty much spent my summer. There were other things in there that kept me busy, but those were the big events or trends.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Life's like a movie, write your own ending

As the Google homepage showed us this morning, it's Jim Henson's 75th Birthday! It's crazy to think that he only would have been 75. I also wonder what else he would have created, had he not died so young. Given his full body of work in only about 30 years, I imagine it would have been quite prolific.

There's this amazing PBS Documentary I recommend you check out called The World of Jim Henson. I bought it in college on VHS because they never printed it on DVD, but I think it's on YouTube in pieces. It's really impressive, and shows a lot of his older work, like Sam and Friends and his commercials.

It really is a very Muppety year for me. At my surprise 27th birthday in April, we watched The Muppets Take Manhattan, it's Jim Henson's 75th birthday, I bought The Green Album, and the new Muppets movie is coming out in November. Huzzah!

Some of my favs:

Monday, September 19, 2011

A big day for sure

The Millie girl is 12!

Millie's been slowing down a lot in her later years, and is certainly in her winter, so I hope she has a great birthday and a tasty treat. A very happy birthday to you, my dear dog.

Also, work has been crazy, but I'm planning a post about what I did on my summer vacation and all the knitting I've done as of late.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Day 30 of the 30 Day Song Challenge!!

This is it! The last post!

I meant to post this a few days ago, but sadly things (mainly a lot of Netflixing Sports Night and Flight of the Conchords) got in the way. So here it is.

Day 30: Your favorite song at this time last year

It was still Rebellion by Arcade Fire, but that was Day 1 of this challenge. So because I don't want to re-post the same song, I'll select what was my #2 song... and that #2 was by a narrow margin.

I heard this song on a college radio show a few years ago, and LOVED IT. I did some super sleuthing (read: googled the lyrics I could remember) and found out that it was My Old Ways by Dr. Dog. This whole album is really good, and I'd strongly recommend it. I'm iffy on some of their other albums, but this one is quite quite good. It feels like good 70's rock, which is impressive for a bunch of guys from Philly.

And now to quote Dianne and Michnya, in regards to the 30 Day Song Challenge: "We done?" "Yeah, we done."

Keep your eyes peeled for some fun posts about knitting, the fall, and other good things!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Day 29 of the 30 Day Song Challenge


Day 29: A song from your childhood

This is easy. The music that made the biggest dent on my childhood was The Point. We had the album, and probably wore holes into our tape of the movie that we had. In fact, I first became aware of Ringo Starr as The Point narrator (and a train conductor, but that's neither here nor there) and THEN years later I realized he was a Beatle.

For this song, I chose my favorite from the movie. This song is so pretty and beautiful. I even found the song the way it is from the actual movie. Thanks, You Tube!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Day 28 of the 30 Day Song Challenge

I meant to blog this earlier, but after returning from Burlington, our weeks went to shit. Ricky got some bad family news (everyone's okay now) and there was a terrible accident at the company I used to work at where someone was sadly killed. The following week was spent reflecting on the prior and just taking a break from things. This is cheesy, but let everyone in your life know how much you care about them.

So this weekend I'm feeling recovered and ready to return to the internets. I'm not sure what to even write for today's challenge.

Day 28: A song that makes you feel guilty

Guilty?! I'm not sure music even makes me completely guilty. I did some serious thinking on this. And decided to go with Buddy Holly. Not really guilty, but more sad that his talented and seemingly happy life was cut short by a plane crash at a young young age. I mean, I have outlived him by FIVE YEARS at this point, and TEN YEARS for Ritchie Valens. I think at first I wasn't feeling strong about my choice, but the more I think about it... I do feel guilty about them dying so young in such a horrific looking plane crash. It might be cheesy basing this on The Day The Music Died, but ah well.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Burlington: a weekend in photos

A series of photos from our recent trip to Burlington, VT.