28 February, 2007

'Twas a dark and stormy morning!

And cold. And wet! The rain on the way in looked like it was mixed with snow and it's only 4 degrees above freezing as I type. And there's no getting away from it. I must run today. Only 11 days until the next race and Monday's run was NOT powerful, to say the least. I got my race T-shirt and timing chip in the mail yesterday. I like that - very convenient. Especially since on race day we have to park at the finish line and take a bus to the start line unless someone is driving you. And since nobody is driving me -- I'm going to have to get up super early and go park and ride. All that for a T-shirt. BUT the bonus is that I get to run on the city streets and over the Alaskan Way Viaduct with the beautiful view of the water and the Olympic mountains. It's going to be super cool.

Yesterday I got a call from one of my old classmates. She came up with the idea for our annual class reunion golf tournament, which was so much fun last year. This year I'm going to be helping with the organization and setting up a web site. AND, I'm going to actually take part in the tournament. Last year I wasn't sure if I should golf, since I'm so bad, so I went shopping before the dinner and ended up with two Coach bags. Since it's a best ball type of thing it doesn't really matter how good you are, plus which everybody's drinking all the way anyway, so I'm going to golf this year. (Whee ... new shoes!) It's not until the end of July but it takes quite a bit of organizing.

Not much knitting yesterday. Worked a bit on the sock while dad was at the doc but it was a quick appointment so I didn't get much done. I brought it today for our Wednesday lunchtime knitting and I should be able to bind it off and start the other one in that hour. I worked mostly on the "Cozy". Nearly finished with the current ball and that leaves only two more to go when it's done. Maybe I can finish this weekend.

27 February, 2007

You really just never know!

Back about .... oh ... a bazillion years ago I used to be a singer. One of my bands was a show band that covered old girl groups from the 60's, among other things. My hairdresser, who is a notorious matchmaker/busybody asked me a few months ago if I ever thought of coming out of "retirement" with regards to the singing. I said sure, if the circumstances were right. In other words, somebody had a band and gigs and all I had to do was show up to rehearse and do the job. So just now this guy called, they've got jobs and want me to meet with them this weekend. It could be fun! Now I just have to figure out if I've still got any chops left.

Oooo! I got the new Stefanie Japel book yesterday! It's a pretty good book. I love the top down thing, obviously, since that's about all the type of sweaters I make. The designs in this book are pretty cute, all in all, and the yarns are mid-priced, which I must say is quite a nice surprise. I don't know about you, but it seems to be that most books and magazines (with the exception of KnitScene) are recommending such astonishingly expensive yarn for their projects that it makes substituting almost mandatory. She has used Cascade yarns almost exclusively except for a couple Lyon Brand things for the super chunky stuff. Interesting side note - I was reading her forward and come to find out she's 6 feet tall! Yikes! I would never have guessed from her pictures, would you?

I did absolutely no knitting last night. I had SUCH a headache yesterday. I made it 3/4 through my run at lunchtime but then lights started flashing in my head and I had to stop. I thought I was just hungry but it kept on and on and on and on ... I finally gave up and went to bed around 9 and read for a little while (yes, I know it's odd to read when you have a headache but it didn't seem to bother me). I finally drifted off and, while it's still present, it's at least not debilitating like it was yesterday. Maybe I can knit tonight.

26 February, 2007

Aaaaand it's Monday again

This time is year is always so strange ... still definitely winter and yet little signs of springs poking up here and there. It is cold and wet and windy though. And it was raining all weekend with the exception of a few odd breaks during the day on Sunday. Tink got a long overdue grooming on Saturday and she looks adorable, as she should. I needed to do some easy training this weekend for the upcoming March 11 race, so on Sunday I put on wet weather gear and took Tink with me to Greenlake. I figured a little run/walk around the lake would be good and I wanted to see how she would do as a running partner. Well, she was GREAT! I got a nice easy workout and she had a wonderful time as well. Of course there weren't nearly as many dogs and people as there would be on a sunny or even non-raining day and she got distracted a few times but when I was running she just really got into it, either keeping up with me or dashing on ahead as far as the leash would permit. As an extra bonus, it tired her out and she spent most of the rest of the afternoon quietly snoozing, her little head in my lap.

I got lots of knitting done this weekend as well as a working out. My sock is pretty much done and I am going to bind it off and start a second one tonight so I'll have a small portable project for sitting around while dad is at the doctor tomorrow. My "Cozy" is growing and I only have 2 3/4 balls of yarn left to use on it. And I even worked a bit on the TDR turtleneck. I was sorely tempted to start a vest of some sort this weekend but resisted. I ordered Stephanie Japel's Fitted Knits Friday and so I'm going to wait and see what's in that.

Won't be long now that we'll be starting SP10. Hope I get good ones again this time. I was SO lucky the last couple of times.

23 February, 2007

I lucked out

Or maybe it was getting right on the zinc treatments. Either way my "cold" is gone. Today I'll take my new shoes out for their first run. I didn't really think my old ones were in that bad of shape until I compared the two side by side. I think I'm a bit overdue, actually. Maybe new shoes will make me speedier! Ya think??

It's cold today and I had to put my extra layer back on for biking in. It had seemed like we were getting an early spring but it's back to being seasonally cold. I don't mind. It gives me a reason to light a fire at night, which I like.

Work is busy busy busy! And my work days are flying by! We will be moving during the quarter break and that means I need to have my office all packed up and ready to be moved on the 16th of March. It's just a mess with book shelves half way sorted, and piles of props for anatomy class. Oh well, I've got three weeks to get the sites ready for next quarter and get myself organized. At least I don't have to actually physically move my computers, which was the original plan. Still it's a big undertaking. My temporary office is in the Annex, which is just a fancy word for a construction trailer that has been fitted out with individual offices. I chose one with a window facing out onto a big grass lawn, which I thought would be a nice view for a change. I found out Wednesday that it is not to be. That area is going to be paved over and be the staging area for the renovation of the H wing and there will be a huge crane sitting there. Looks like I will be working from home a lot!

Next week starts the new Secret Pal so I guess I'm going to have to get on the stick with my knitting! I was looking at my Ogee Tunic sleeves last night. Maybe I'll pick that up again or .... or finish up the TRD turtleneck. So many options. But for tonight I think I'll just pop in a silly movie and work on my "Cozy".

21 February, 2007

One more time .....

When I got onto the plane yesterday to come home from Phoenix I started sneezing and sniffling as if I were having a huge allergy attack. I couldn't figure it out - I couldn't smell any strong perfume or dust or anything at all that could have got me going like that. But as astonishing as it sounds, I seem to have caught another cold! As soon as it became apparent last evening I started up with the zinc again. It's so very annoying because I can't run when I have a cold! I barely made it up the hill on my bike this morning. And I was SO looking forward to trying out my new running shoes today. I just can't figure out how I managed to catch another cold so soon after that first one! And it had been so long since I'd had a cold anyway. My next race is 18 days away so I hope this zinc does the trick again and I can get out running Friday at the latest.

Yesterday day then was almost totally taken up with travel. Phoenix airport was busy and the security check line was nearly 30 minutes long. I wanted to work on the plane and I did manage to get some stuff done but the woman in front of me reclined all the way back and this particular plane was not very generous in the leg room department which meant that I could barely fit my laptop on the tray table. I must have been quite a picture - nose dripping, frantically trying to type away with my computer crunched up practically against my chest. I was jammed up against the window because the girl next to me turned herself in her seat so that her back was toward me and then she leaned back! Anyway .... enough with the travel whinging. We all know how ugly it is to fly these days, unless you can upgrade and even then it's no picnic.

I didn't get home until nearly 7 but I was looking forward to watching the episode of "Lost" that I had recorded last Wednesday except it wasn't on the DVR! I don't know what happened but at least I'll be able to catch up because they'll run the episode from last week before the new episode at 10. Don't know if I'll be up for the second one but at least I can make sure it records this time!

Knitting-- I worked more on the sock. Got the gusset all done and now it's just the k2p2 ribbing. No more fancy socks for me! I just love a plain sock. It flies by and there's very little thinking. Perfect portable project.

19 February, 2007

The wild wild west

I'm still in Arizona. I'm having a nice time - except today has been a bit frustrating dealing with getting my friend's website up. I finally got it done and published. It's going to need some more tweaking since the content is not all ready but at least the design and framework are finished.

Yesterday we took a break from working and drove to Tuscon to see "Old Tucson" which is a poor man's version of Universal Studios. Way out in the desert, it's where many of the old western movies were shot. It's totally corny but the area around it is very cool. And I got to use my new camera. It's going to take me some time to figure out everything it can do but here are a few pictures I took yesterday. When we were leaving, in the parking lot was a coyote! Just standing there ... strolling around a bit. Most likely looking for food. And a picture of a cactus alongside one of the buildings and here's a shot of the countryside. I'm not yet used to sizing these. I thought I had them bigger but, as I said, it's going to take me a while to get used to the new camera and downloading pictures.

I've also been working on a sock and here's a picture of it. I've done the foot and the heel flap and I'm getting ready to do the gussets and turn the heel. Maybe this afternoon.

15 February, 2007

Coundown ...

Less than 8 hours and I'll be on my way to sunshine and warmth. It's a blustery cold day here in Seattle. I wish I was going to Hawaii but Phoenix will do nicely. I will be doing a bit of work -- I am going to be making my friend's website for his business -- it won't be all work and I won't be here!

My camera did arrive yesterday and it's so cool! I didn't even get to look at the manual last night but I've packed it with me along with the software so I can do that while I'm on vacation. It is so much tinier than my older camera and lighter. I can't wait to learn to use it. I was just so tired when I finally got home from work and then taking Dad to the doctor and then stopping at the grocery store. Poor little Tink didn't even get her evening walk. It was raining and I had packing to do. I did a little laundry, got packed, took the lace socks off the needles but didn't have time to start a new pair. I'll do that when I'm there as well. By 9:30 I was just exhausted so I just let the DVD record "Lost" and I'll have that to look forward to when I get home Tuesday night.

I took Tinkie over to Ruth's this morning and she was off and playing with Jasmine without even a backwards look. I think one of the reasons I'm keen on getting another boyfriend is so I can get another dog as well! Maybe that's why the romance gods are conspiring against me -- my motives are less than pure. Well hey! It's gotta be something!! Here's just a little rant: If I go out with one more guy that says "How are YOU still single?" and then doesn't call me I am going to scream, hunt him down and say, "Well, you seem to know the answer to that question now. Care to enlighten me???!!" Rant off.

14 February, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!

And ..... it looks like it's going to be a Happy New Camera Day for me as well. According to the UPS tracking my camera will be delivered today so I am all woohoo about that. VD .... well, not so much. But hey! It could be worse! At least I can remember some awesome ones and one in particular will always be with me so ..... for what that's worth.

I have been really getting into the "Cozy" knitting. I'm on my 3rd ball of yarn. The lace pattern isn't difficult and it seems quite forgiving since I've made a couple mistakes and can't even find them! It's going to take a while to finish since it's got to be 68". Well of course I guess if I think 50 inches is enough I can stop but the pattern calls for 68". We'll see if I have enough yarn. I think I'll just knit until I run out of it.

Here is my current boring dilemma (I really need to get a life!) What knitting should I take with me to Phoenix? I am thinking the lace knitting would NOT be a good idea since there is bound to be some sitting around with cocktails at the elbow. I need something plain and easy, preferably in the round. Therefore I am going to take the heart lace socks off the needles and start some plain ones. I find that I wear the plain ones. I can't get into the fancy sock thing. It doesn't make sense to me to spend so much time with a fiddle-y fancy pattern for something nobody is every really going to notice. That is unless you wear them with sandals and shorts which is not my style. But plain socks I will wear. I love the feeling of hand knit socks. Tonight after I get my laundry and packing all done (maybe while watching "Lost"?) I'll cast on for a simple pair of socks and that will be easy to put into a Zip-lock and toss into my suitcase. Then if I make a mistake it won't be a huge deal.

12 February, 2007

I finished something!

Isn't that amazing. I have a bazillion WIPs and felt I had to pick up another. I finished it though. The Sunflower Tam from "Knitting Nature". I used Elann's Pamir in what I thought was a nice yellow but turned out a bit green-y. I was in such a rush to start the thing I didn't check my gauge (I know .... rookie mistake) and it is way too big for my head, so I brought it to work and gave it to someone. I just wanted to make it. It's all right turns and left turns -- pretty easy except now and again a left turn would get a bit dicey. That's an I-cord tassel on the top.

That's mostly the knitting I did on the weekend. I did knit a few more rows on the "Cozy" and tried to get a quick picture of it this morning but it just didn't turn out. I wish I had my new camera. It looks like it's not going to arrive until the day I leave this week, which is a shame because the UPS guy comes late to my house so I won't be able to have it with me on my vacation! I'm really disappointed. Well I haven't checked the tracking yet this morning so it might yet surprise me and get here early.

I had a nice race on Sunday. Although it was another race where they didn't have a real start, but only a "gun" start and I HATE that!! Why do we wear chips if we're not going to get a real start time?? It's only good for the very very few people that are actually crossing the starting line on time. I have no way of knowing when I crossed the starting line. Next run on March 11 and that one will be timed.

I had a really nice dinner Friday night at "Mona's", a restaurant near Greenlake. Saturday was a fabulous day -- I ran errands and knit and then watched my "Extras" DVDs. Hilarious!! I think there's one more in the series. And yesterday was cleaning and hanging out with the dog. It's going to be a fairly busy week and then Thursday it's off to the sunshine and I can't wait!

08 February, 2007

No going back now

So I just did it -- I registered for the Love 'em or Leave 'em Valentine's dash this Sunday. I haven't exactly been training, but I don't feel bad and although I'll be slow at least I'm doing it! I think there's a St. Patrick's dash in March and I'll be in much better shape for that. This Sunday I'm just going to concentrate on making it around the course before the walkers!!

The second half of the "Lost" season started last night and I thought it was fabulous!! I worked on my "Cozy" earlier in the evening but I can't knit when I'm watching "Lost" unless it's just a plain knitting in the round thing. I get too caught up. I can knit through "Desperate Housewives" and football, but not that. The wrap is coming along nicely. I'm on my second ball of yarn. I've never knit a wrap before. Thankfully this is a very simple lace pattern - 8 row repeat with EOR being a purl row. So far I've not made any mistakes, fingers crossed.

I am getting the first season of Ricky Gervais' "Extras" from Netflix today. Since I don't have HBO anymore I haven't been able to see any of it, but I so enjoy his acting so I'm sure I'm going to love it. I'm going to dinner tomorrow night so tonight will just be some funny TV and quiet -- ah, well much like the rest of the week as been, eh? I could very well be the most boring person on the planet. No, really.

07 February, 2007

Oh this is torture!!!

I have a "Best Fare Chaser" widget on my desktop listing my top favorite destinations and the lowest fare (obviously) that day. This morning .... London $338!! Paris $410!! I am almost sorry I committed to visiting Phoenix next week over the President's Day holiday. Of course, those fares are deceptive since they don't show the $200+ in taxes and fees etc. Still though ... that's cheap. And after having had a lovely long conversation with my friend Pat who is now living on Oakham, I am so missing her! Maybe if I win the award I'm up for I can hop over there in April for a quick visit. AND maybe a show or two in London. I really want to see Spamalot. A lot! (I couldn't resist)

I did run yesterday and it wasn't nearly so bad as I thought it would be. In fact it was almost painless. Yay me, huh? So maybe I will do that run Sunday after all. I still feel like a huge piggy, but healthy anyway. Six or 8 weeks of non-piggy ways and I should be back in form for the springtime unveiling. You know -- when you can't get away with baggy sweatshirts and sweaters. I wonder, if I lived in California would I still get the winter chub?

I signed up for Secret Pal 10 yesterday. I've had such fun with the others I have done. I took a break from Secret Pal 9 -- just too much stuff going on. But this is a perfect time. Last night I started one of the projects from my sweet Secret Pal 8. Oh I know I know .... I already have too many things going but I didn't have the heart to frog those socks and I wasn't in the mood for a big sweater. I was thinking of a hat from Knitting Nature but then came upon the beautiful plum colored yarn and pattern that SP8 sent me for making Knitty's Cozy and did a few pattern repeats. The color is just gorgeous. Picture soon.

In fact, speaking of pictures .... guess what I did yesterday! I bought a new camera!! I have been thinking and researching for weeks and finally pulled the trigger and bought a Canon A510. My old camera I bought right before I moved to Paris -- December 1999. It's an Olympus Camedia and it's only 1.3 megapixels and big and heavy to boot. I don't take many pictures because it's just so clunky and I never want to take it with me. The new one is just super! It takes video and I am getting a 1 gig memory card with it. Oh I just can't wait!

06 February, 2007

So quiet!

It's been foggy these past two mornings and so quiet! Almost as if snow had fallen. Thank goodness NOT. It's just weird and eerie. I know it won't be long before the birds are singing outside my window and I won't be able to keep hitting the snooze button on the alarm. It's still totally dark and still outside when the alarm goes off. But I heard a different birdsong later in the morning so I know it won't be long before I'm covering my ears for another few minutes of peace.

My head was still stuffy yesterday and I didn't run at lunchtime. I must go this lunchtime because I need to decide if I'm going to sign up for the 5K this Sunday or not. Since I haven't been running for a week I'm leaning towards not, but if I'm feeling good out on the trail at lunch I might as well give it a go. It's not like I'm going for some world record or anything. I've just got to get serious about getting rid of this winter chub! I feel like a whale!

Now that my entrelac bag is finished I can't decide what to pick up. I did work some on the cabled turtleneck Sunday but last night I just watched a movie and read. I wasn't feeling any great pull. And I most definitely am not feeling the heart lace socks. I don't think I'm a lace sock knitter. What I like about socks is that you can toss them in your bag and just pick them up anywhere, anytime. That isn't the case when you're working a complicated lace pattern on the instep. I want a simple sock. Let the yarn do the work. Soooooo ... looks like I'm going to either put it on holders or frog it and start a simple toe up plain foot with ribbing on the cuff. Something I can do without thinking about it. It'll be perfect to take with me to Arizona. It's going to be warm there so I can't have a lap full of sweater.

05 February, 2007

That stuff totally works

The zinc kicked my cold. It's amazing. By Saturday there was just the barest trace of a stuffy head. Really fabulous. It made my weekend. I certainly wasn't looking forward to being down. Save that for the weekdays, right?

Friday after my nap I had an appointment for a facial. I was feeling pretty good so I went ahead with it and it was lovely and relaxing. Saturday was more pampering, after loading my car up with wood that is. [Next year no matter what I am finding someone willing to deliver the wood to my house! This has been ridiculous -- me picking up loads every few weeks.] A manicure and pedicure and then a quiet evening at home with a pizza and a movie and a nice fire. I got the entrelac bag finished and felted and bought rattan handles for it on Saturday. I still need to trim the fuzzy stuff close because even though I folded it to the inside it still shows. Look how cute the bottom is. It doesn't show up clearly here but there's a little I-cord nubbin at the bottom as well. And here's a side view. See what I mean about the fuzzy bits? I don't like them. This bag is the perfect size for toting around socks in progress. As you can see it's not huge. And it took quite a long time to make as well. But it looks pretty good - if a bit garish. School colors anyway.

The Super Bowl party yesterday was quite fun. Alas I didn't win any money but the Colts won and it was a good game. And now the Pro Bowl on Saturday and then football is over for another year.

02 February, 2007

I was right

It's a cold. I can't remember the last time I had a cold. Not fun. But my sister used a zinc product the last time she had a cold and it was gone in three days, so I ran right out and got some yesterday and I've been using it so fingers crossed I'll be allllllll better tomorrow. I sure could use a bit more sleep about now though.

Oh happy day, I finished that bag yesterday. I've still got the handles to do and Tink would NOT let me knit last night after a certain point. And when she thinks I should pay attention to her it's pretty hard not to. Anyway, the bottom of the bag is really cute. I'll take pre- and post-felting pictures. I'm still undecided about the handles but I am definitely going to sew the fuzzy portion down on the inside so it doesn't show. The bag looks much better without the fuzzy bit.

Oh man I feel like I need a nap. Hopefully I can take off out of here early today and get a nice snooze in.

01 February, 2007

Oh no! Not a cold!!!

I woke up last night sneezing and sneezing. I thought maybe it was some sort of allergy attack (well .. I was asleep and not thinking that clearly) but I am still at it this morning. Will I be able to run a race in 11 days if it's a full blown cold?

Here it is February already. I'm not too keen on this month. Football is over as of Sunday and there's Valentine's Day to (not) look forward to. At least I have my mini-vaca in Arizona to look brighten the month. And I've got a fun Super Bowl Sunday planned. My local pub is having a party and pot luck. I stopped by last night and signed up to bring food and also took two squares on a football pool. That'll be fun. If the Seahawks couldn't make it I am glad that the Colts did. It's about time Peyton Manning had a go.

Two appointments to haul my Dad around to this morning so I'd better get to it. Fingers crossed there will be no surprises and I can be back at the office by 1 or so.