Sunday, December 30, 2007

I Love Packages On My Doorstep!

Saturday night, when I got home from work, I was surprised to see a package laying against my door. I LOVE packages on my doorstep, but I was not expecting anything from anyone at this time. Matt, my boyfriend, had told me he had sent one out, but I assumed it was still a week away at least. Then, I looked at the return address. There was no name, but it was from a familiar town in Rhode Island and I knew it had to be one of three people.

I initially assumed Aisha, a really good friend from college, had mailed the package. And I hoped with all hope that it was not a Christmas present from her because I TOTALLY didn't even think about getting her a a dope! Next, I thought it was from my friend, Rand, who I do not know very well but talk to every now and again through the Interweb! He said he wanted to make me a couple of mixed CDs, but this box was far too big for CDs even though whatever was inside obviously did not take up the whole thing.

The package ended up being from the last source from Rhode Island, Aisha's little brother, Naseer! I found out after I opened the present, took out a large foil bundle of cookies, and pulled out a small note that read:

I'm sad to report that my hot cookies
of seduction were not successful. They were
indeed hot and seductive, however their target
wanted nothing of them. How sad. But I thought
of you - the person who always appreciates my
efforts. These cookies are for you. Of course this is
a fresh batch, free of the bitter taste of unrequited love.
I hope you enjoy them. I also hope to see you soon.
All the best.

Hot Cookies of Seduction! :oD I remembered seeing these words written on Naseer's away message one day and I wrote some smartass thing in response to that message. However, I never thought I would get a batch in the mail!! They were delicious! And, if I can ever get the recipe from Naseer (you know, if it is not a secret or anything) I will post it here for you to try at home! To behonest, I gave almost all of them away. It is true, they were delicious - and I would have eaten them all myself - but it was a BATCH of cookies and I am trying to train my way into San Diego through my crew team!! So, I did what I had to do...and regifted them. I was on my way to my friend's birthday party, so I threw those suckers on a plate, covered them in aluminum foil, and out the door I went.

Now, I know this is not from my mom (although in a subconscious way maybe), so it is either from Martha or from my gay DNA - but when you go to someone's house for a party, it is polite to bring the host something and have something interesting to talk about. (Ooh...maybe it's from Bridget Jones' Diary) Boy, were these cookies IT! Because when you bring something called Hot Cookies of Seduction, nobody's talking about anything else for a while! Thank you, Naseer, I was a HIT!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

San Diego Here I Come!

This is an ergometer, or erg for short:

It looks innocent enough, but believe me when I tell you that it is a creation by the devil. It also happens to be my best friend right now. You see, my rowing team (StationL Rowing Club) has decided to enter a boat into the San Diego Crew Classic 2008 and I want to be in it! The boat will only hold 8 rowers and one coxswain and there are more rowers than 8 on our team - and I ain't no coxswain!! This means I have to really bump up my winter training to be faster and stronger than my teammates. The erg will help me get there!!

Workouts consist of 2 long aerobic pieces (one of which I usually do on the erg, the other I do as a run), 2 sprint pieces at 70%-90% of maximum heart rate (done on the erg) and 2 lifting pieces (which I am creative with - doing one at the gym and one at my pilates studio!!) with a day off if you would like. So far, my training has been going well and I have stuck to the workout plan. Definitely more like work than it was in the first week and a half, but my new mantra of "I want to go to San Diego, I want to go to San Diego" is keeping me going.

Stay tuned to see how much progress is made with the workouts as well as for new posts. I have to make up for last November and December being practically post-less and I have lots of knitting to update you on - with pictures!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Tryon Life Community Farm

I found a farm in the city this summer when I was walking through Tryon Park in Portland. There was a sign on the park's path where it nears the farm saying that they had open house days when people could help on the farm. I was immediately interested, but was nervous to jump head first into a community which I knew nothing about and I was pretty busy with work and crew and MiPL. This week I finally had the time, so I drove over (even though it was raining a little) and asked if I could help out!

What I did on the farm today:
- Greeted by students of a travelling university who told me where to find the main house and the person that was leading the work party.
- Entered the main house to members of the community eating, cooking, reading stories to the five children who live there, generally going about their day.
- Laura (a resident intern at the farm since Sept) grabbed her harvesting basket and gave me an informal tour of the gardens, the barn, the sweat lodge, the sauna, the chicken tractors, and finally the hoop house (green house)
- Harvested tomatoes, peppers, and other assorted greens
- Ate some mustard greens
- Pulled all plants from the ground and threw them into a compost (got to use machete to cut them up!!)
- Composted, fertilized, limed, and turned the soil of the hoop house
- Dug keystone paths for easier harvesting of future hoop house plants
- Weeded the leek beds
- Watched a spider wrap a bee up (this was over the course of my 4 hours there because the spider had a web on one end of the hoop house)
- Got my hand and clothes DIRTY!!
- Had fun!!!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Movie Night

Buying a few DVDs at Blockbuster, picking up take-out food, and snuggling down for a good solitary night alone are some of my favorite activities for a weekend. This is precisely what I did this evening. Movies: 28 Weeks Later, Shopgirl, and Bad Education. Food: California Panini from Haggan Supermarket.

I got 28 Weeks Later because I had seen 28 Days Later and was totally freaked out by it and knew that this would be a good way to both catch up on the sequel and pay homage to the Halloween weekend. It worked. After any good scary movie I need a little cheering up, especially if I am by myself. This is where Shopgirl came in. Not that I rented this movie with the idea of using it as a chaser to the first. I rented Shopgirl because I had read the novella, loved it, and wanted to see the film version. By the way, the film may actually be better than the novella. Steve Martin wrote both, though, so how could you lose.

Without telling you the story of Shopgirl, because seriously it is a novella, you can read it in an afternoon, I would like to share a touching part that is only more touching once you know the whole story. It hit me hard when I was watching the movie tonight because it reminded me of my boyfriend who is very far away right now.

"While Jeremy dates Mirabelle and makes tiny inroads into her, Ray continues to occasionally see her. In an act of self-preservation, she no longer makes love to him, and because he finally cares about her fully, he doesn't try.
Mirabelle takes months to accept Jeremy, and Jeremy patiently waits. And as he stands by, his feelings for Mirabelle grow. One night, she cries in his arms when a recollection of Ray flirts with her memory, and he holds her and doesn't say a word. Where his insight comes from as he courts her, even he doesn't know. It might have been that he was ready to grow up, and the knowledge was already in him, like a dormant gene. Whatever it is, she is the perfect recipient of his attention, and he is the perfect recipient of her tenderness. Unlike Ray Porter, his love is fearless and without reservation. As Jeremy offers her more of his heart, she offers equal parts of herself in return. One night, sooner than she would have liked, which made it irresistible, they make love for the second time in two years. But this time, Jeremy holds her for a long while, and they connect in a deep and profound way. At this point, Jeremy surpasses Mr. Ray Porter as a lover of Mirabelle because as clumsy as he is, what he offers her is tender and true. That night, coming up for air from the unexpected love he is falling in, he gives some opinions on tweeter wholesaling that Mirabelle secretly calls 'the second oration.' After he nods off, she pokes her forefinger into his closed fist and falls asleep.
Their union is the kind of perfect mismatch that makes for long relationships. She is smarter than he is, but Jeremy is in love with his own bright ideas, and the enthusiasm he shows for them infects Mirabelle and pushes her forward into the world of drawing for money. She begins to enjoy tolerating his enthusiastic outbursts; this is her gift to him. Sometimes they lie in bed and Mirabelle relates the entire plot of a Victorian novel, and Jeremy is so captivated and engrossed that he believes the events in the story are happening right now, to him."


I need to have a deep and profound connection with my man. Long distance relationships suck. Well, maybe not all of them suck, but this one is definitely getting on MY nerves right now. Less distance, more holding, I say!

Sleepy - bed now.

Monday, October 22, 2007

When Knitting Needles Attack

A high school friend and I were contributing to a knitting blog for most of this year, but all of a sudden it disappeared. My friend had started it and after learning that I was teaching myself to knit, she added me as a contributor and we both had fun posting works in progress and completed works - commenting and giving congratulations to each other. To make a boring story short, the last time I went to log into our blog, I found that the URL was unavailable and I still have not found out why. That is part of the reason for starting this blog. I really enjoyed having a place to showcase my work even if only one other person looked at it.
Because this is my new "all about me" blog, please bare with me and try to enjoy the next bajillion pictures of recent knitting projects to catch you up from the last site:
My third knit piece ever. This came after a garter stitch scarf and a stockinette scarf. It went to my boyfriend!

My next piece - it went to my sister (another bull, but she's less ferdinand and more fighting bull ring). Same pattern as the first which, by the way, came from Grumperina. Both were knit on US size 8 bamboo straights out of two 220yd skeins of Cascade brand yarn. The purple sharfik is Cascade's Heather. Both measure about 8 inches wide by 5 feet long.
Next up are a couple crochet projects. The first is a skull cap I made out of some grab bag yarn I picked up at Abundant Yarn. Both patterns are from the Learn To Crochet book that came with my aluminum Boye hooks. I modified the hat into a skull cap by omitting the floppy brim that the book instructed to give it, but I did use the H hook as suggested. The blanket is still in progess, as you can see by the I hook hanging halfway through the top row. I'm five balls of Universal "African summer" 100% deluxe worsted wool in and the last three balls are taking their sweet time coming to the shop I ordered them from. This is the type of yarn that when knit into a certain width will self-stripe. I hoped for a more random look, but haven't quite acheived it. Sometimes I really like the blanket and sometimes I do not. I just want to finish it soon at this point! (And, yes, that is my new comforter it's laying on....bulls like sumptuous things...)

Yet another sharfik. Still Cascade worsted yarn (2 skeins), but this time knit with US 7 bamboo straights in a vibrant tangerine as requested by its recipient. This measured about 6 inches wide and probably a little shy of 5 feet long. I much preferred using this size needle, which was the suggested size!

Lastly is the project I am most excited about. It is the beginning of the Cobblestone sweater I originally found in Interweave Knits and was furthered encouraged to make after visiting the designer's website: BrooklynTweed. I am actually a little further along than the picture indicates. The fourth ball of yarn was started today and I am a few inches in length away from finishing this body portion. I am following the directions to a T as this is my first sweater and from reading about the designer's work with Grumperina's scarves, I have surmised that we have a similar gauge. This means I am using size US 7 bamboo circulars (currently on a 32" and have a 16" waiting for sleeves). The yarn is "spring green" Plymouth Yarn Plymouth Tweed: 100% virgin lambswool 50g/109yds. I LOVE the yarn. It is fun to look at while knitting and I can tell it is making a warm, snuggley, perfect sweater. The problem is that I need 6 more balls and they are kinda far away. Just gonna have to get them shipped!

Phew! That's enough for tonight. Ferdinand needs some scrummy dessert and then it is early to bed - rowing and pilates back to back tomorrow morning!!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Greetings from the Pasture

Stay tuned for stories, jokes, inspiration, crafts, rants, pictures, questions, and whatever else I can dream up. Feeling like I am at a crossroads in my life and writing felt like the right thing to do to sort it all out.