31 August, 2011

It must be stress

Yesterday was just awful! My back still was so sore and stiff. I had two meetings to attend and dragged my heating pad with me so I could sit and be somewhat comfortable. Today I am going to work from home so I can be horizontal as much as possible. I have tons of stuff to do and orientation is tomorrow. I have to be up for that.

Emma and I gave our friend Remi the task of finding us an affordable hotel in Paris and it looks like he came through. I won't be able to really spend time with that project until next week. It is sneaking up on us.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

30 August, 2011

Muscle spasm day 2

Oh what horrible timing!  I knew my back was feeling weird on Sunday but I thought it was just from sitting on the couch but yesterday was a bad back spasm day and today is just as bad, if not worse.  Unfortunately I can't take time off work to go to the doctor.  I can still walk around - not comfortably but ..... well, no use complaining.  It is what it is.

This of course means no running.  It is plenty of time still to be ready for the race on the 11th of I can get back into it by the end of this week.  And the weather is perfect for running too!  Not too hot, not too cold.  The tough part is being patient.  I am so busy at work that it's not too hard to skip the lunch run, at least for the next few days.

Got a little work done on the ribbing last night.  I did notice in the pattern that it is written to knit the button bands separately and then sew them on!  I know it's got to be for stability in the construction of the garment but it is just such a boring thing to do and I am going to try my best to find a way to knit the button bands along with the body.  The problem to solve is how to make that break between the band and the body be rigid and this is what I'll need to test out before I try it.  I don't want it to get stretched out ...... well, I can't think about it now.  I've got WAY too much work to get to.

29 August, 2011

More ways to love an iPhone

When I go for my early walks with Tink on the weekends I have started stopping at Starbucks for a little coffee to take with me.  I don't like to take money on our walks because I don't take a purse and my pockets are used for my iPhone and my keys.  I have a Starbucks card that I was given as a gift and when you register it online and download the Starbucks app it appears there.  You can pay for your coffee and you can reload it with money from Paypal all from the phone.  It's too easy.  I guess they took a page from Amazon's site - it is also too easy to purchase anything from Amazon.  I just love it!  Also I had a birthday discount from DSW which I used from my phone as well.  How long before we don't have to have credit cards and it can all be on our phone?

It was a busy busy weekend and the weather was fabulous.  Friday evening I had a great time with my friend Jane drinking wine and talking and talking and talking.  Saturday was full of chores and running around.  Tink got a lovely haircut and while she was at the groomer I did my shopping and then finished the Kaleidoscope cardigan.  I didn't get it blocked - hopefully I can do that this week but if not, for sure on the long weekend.  I had to practice a draft for my fantasy league and then picked her up and had a nice lazy evening watching the Seahawks lose again.  I don't have big hopes for this season considering all the new, young players we have.  I also started another project - the Eloise cardigan that I bought the yarn for about 6 months ago.  I did the pocket linings and called that the swatch.  I was spot on for gauge and so yesterday while I was waiting for the draft to start and I was doing laundry I cast on for the sleeves and started them.

We did the draft using my iPad and video Skype.  It was amazingly easy.  I got the 7th round pick.  I know I've got a better team than last year.  I don't think I'm going to win, but at least I won't be last this time - I hope!

Somehow yesterday, maybe when I was moving the vacuum in and out of the closet, I tweaked my back.  I am in agony.  This is the worst possible time for this to happen.  I've got a super busy week here at work.  And this morning I have to run downstairs for a follow up exam for my eye, which is fine, but ....   I hope I can manage this muscle spasm on my own because frankly I don't have a lot of extra time to be running to the doctor.  Talk about timing, huh?  And obviously I can't run today.  Well, I'm not going to fret about it.  It is what it is.

26 August, 2011

It happened again!

Now it's a mystery!  I woke up at 7:30 again this morning.  I don't remember turning off the alarm.  I don't even remember hearing the alarm.  It's not like I was up late or didn't have a restful night.  I slept great.  I can only surmise that I turned the volume down too low or .... well, I'm going to have to test it out this weekend and fix it.

It is gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous outside!  I didn't even need any kind of sweater or anything over my T-shirt this morning, it's that warm and sunny.  I got out for my run before noon yesterday and I'm going to do that again today and even so that's hot enough.  I didn't get a great run, but a decent one.  My legs are a bit sore from my two-a-days ... well, they're not sore today but were really sore on Wednesday.  Next week it won't be quite so hot and I should have better runs.

Work is winding up for the start of class on the 6th and I'm busy trying to keep everything in order.  All my stress goes right between my shoulder blades.  I had SUCH a headache yesterday.  Oh, I would have given anything for a massage, but that's not in the plans for this month.  It was better after my workout and shower.  I had big plans to finish up the Kaleidoscope cardigan and I did get the first button band finished.  Instead of picking up the stitches for the second one I thought I'd start weaving in the ends, but then the phone rang and Tink wanted attention .... typical evening lately.  I would have given her another little walk around nine but she didn't seem all that keen and it's started getting dark earlier and earlier.  I noticed it was dark at 8:30 last night.

It's going to be a busy weekend.  I have mountains of chores and errands tomorrow, including getting Tink to the groomer in the morning.  Then I must practice my fantasy football draft and get my strategy in place for the draft on Sunday afternoon.  All I want to do this year is NOT place last.  Oh, there should be a pre-season game on Saturday too.  I should be able to get some knitting done if it's not too hot to knit.  No complaints.  I know it'll be cold again soon.

25 August, 2011

I feel so refreshed!

Yeah, and that's because I didn't hear my alarm this morning and didn't wake up until 7:30!  I had  little trouble falling asleep last night.  I feel great though.  This weather is glorious.

With yesterday being Wednesday and noon knitting I had a rest so I am hoping my run will be a bit stronger today.  And I don't have a meeting to dash off to afterwards so I can take my time to cool off.  Oh how I wish we had showers here!  It's not so bad in the winter but in the summer ... well, you can only imagine! 

The sleeves were bound off for the Kaleidoscope cardigan and I picked up stitches for the left button band.  I got about half way through the knitting of that band.  Depending upon Tink's level of playfulness I may be able to finish that up tonight and start on the second one.  For my next cardigan I am going to explore a way to knit the button band while I am doing the fronts.  It seems so inefficient to pick up and stitch out.  Probably it is because of structure that one would want to do that, but I think that if you use some sort of twisted stitch or a slip before the band itself, perhaps done in seed stitch, you could obtain the same effect.  I'll try it on a swatch.

It felt like Friday yesterday.  No fair.

24 August, 2011

Have a nice trip?

During nearly every little 5K race I've run I see someone along the side of the track on their hands and knees.  It looks embarrassing at best and painful at worst.  Yesterday that someone was almost me.  I went out for my run an hour early because I wanted to be cooled down and changed in time for my afternoon meeting since I had to give a little talk and couldn't hide along the side.  I thought I would have an extra specially good run since I was getting out there earlier and thus would have more of my breakfast energy to draw upon.  Oddly that was not the case and about mile 2 I was really dragging.  I suppose it was a case of not picking my feet up high enough and a little bump in the very bumpy trail, because I caught my right toe and nearly went down.  I managed to do that silly hopping thing and tilted myself toward the dirt side of the track where there were trees and grabbed onto some branches, righting myself at the last second.  It would have been ugly had I gone down.  The trail is paved but cracked, hence the bumps.  Dirt or pavement, it could have been a bad scene.  I must have some crazy busy guardian angels, because Monday I almost got hit by a car running a red light.  Or is it all the clean living?  Whatever, I managed to dodge another one.  *whew*

Seattle summer is in full swing, which means another week of 80-ish temperatures and blue skies.  It is just lovely after that depressingly cold spring.  The apartment stays warm-ish but I just keep the fan on me and make do.  It is not conducive to knitting though, so I'm glad for Wednesday noon knitting or I would hardly get anything done!  I am sure not going to be wishing for cooler weather.  All my projects will still be waiting for me when it is cooler.

Work is picking up and I am busy and don't have too much time to daydream about my next big adventure.  Emma got a little anxious and almost threw a wrench into the works, but she calmed down and got her dates straight and now everything is set - status quo, no changes.  Perfect.  I cannot wait to see all my old friends!  But wait I shall.  Time moves quickly enough, doesn't it?  No need to hurry things along.

23 August, 2011

A dog in shoes

The street I live on is bordered by poplar trees all up and down the entire length.  It is beautiful in the spring when the leaves are just coming out and it is going to be stunning when all the leaves start to turn.  At this time of year however it is simply sticky.  It is amazing how much sap those trees put out.  Sometimes when I walk under one I can feel it raining down on me.  A few leaves have already started falling and they are sticky with sap.  Tink walks over them and they stick on her feet and belly and muzzle so that every block or so I have to stop and clean her off.  But the cutest is when they are stuck on her feet and it looks like she is wearing shoes.  Well ... cute to me, I should say.  Annoying to her, for sure.  She is getting a grooming this weekend so that might cut down on the amount of stuff that gets stuck to her since her skirt won't be dragging on the ground.

I had a decent run yesterday and I've started back up with the two-a-day workouts.  I have three weeks until my next race and I want to be in tip top shape!  I checked the race results for this particular race from last year and unless there are tons more people I might be able to place a little higher than the middle of my age group.  It would be nice to be in the top 1/4  - I'd settle for that.

After the workout I did get the mitts for my sister finished - finally!  And what did I do?  I left them on the table.  I wanted to get them sent off today but it'll have to wait for tomorrow.  I tried to do a few rows on the sleeves of the cardigan but Tink wanted to play ball and I felt pretty good about finishing that project, so I indulged her.  It seems strange to me - if I am just lounging on the couch watching TV or a movie in the evening Tink doesn't bother me much.  I mean she'll want to go out at her normal times but she doesn't pester me to throw the ball or have a tussle.  But if I'm knitting she is at me almost constantly.  I need to figure out what triggers that - is it the chair I am sitting in?  No -- it has to be the knitting because she does the same thing if I am knitting on the couch.  I'll figure it out.

22 August, 2011


This weekend was the perfect Seattle August weekend.  Hot, but not too hot.  Although I spent the night up north with my friends, after a completely stunning dinner, I got an early start and was home with Tink by about 11.  I changed into some shorts and a tank and off we headed for the lake.  She was so hot and anxious for the water that as soon as we crossed the street to the lake she made a bee line for the kiddie wading pool.  No dogs allowed, of course but she is so stubborn that she set her little feet and wouldn't budge.   I had to pick her up and carry her across the path to the lake!  She doesn't really swim, she just wades around in the water and it is so cute.  I let her play for a while and then when she got out we started heading back towards home.  But it turns out she was not ready to go and she set her little feet again and wouldn't budge.  It makes me look like I am being mean to her when I try to urge her forward and she is stubbornly not moving.  It is funny except when there are tons of people around staring.  I finally got her going but it was slow going on the way home because she insists on rolling in the grass every other step.  We did the same walk on Sunday because it was gorgeous again, but that time I wore shoes I could wear into the water and I waded with her and we spent more time.  She was a little happier about heading home then.

The second preseason football game was on Saturday night and I used that time wisely and finished up the hand portion of the mitts for my sister.  Tonight I will get the thumbs done and I can send them off.  Next to finish - the Kaleidoscope cardigan.

Saturday when I was out with Tink I had my ear buds in and Pandora Radio playing.  I felt great, the weather was great, the music was great .... I am just so darned happy I almost feel like talking about it is going to jinx it!  Isn't that crazy?  I am just so lucky and I don't know what I've done to deserve it. 

This weekend was all about sloth - I just couldn't make myself do anything but the bare minimum.  Possibly because it was so hot.  There was a lot of quality time with the iPad.  I bought a new game -- heaven help me -- a racing game that is so incredible you have to see it to believe it.  I did find one teensie little annoyance.  My fantasy football draft is next Sunday so I thought I'd do a couple practice drafts as I was lounging around with the iPad.  I wasn't thinking it through - the Yahoo Fantasy Football Draft is a Flash-based tool.  That is the only negative I have found so far in all the hours I've spent with it.  I know intellectually that iPhones and iPads won't run Flash but this is the first time I've run up against it.  A small annoyance and the racing game pretty much makes up for it. 

19 August, 2011

Late late late

That's my morning.  Late.  I didn't get to bed late last night.  Normal time, but I woke up in the night and started thinking about a presentation I'm working on and I couldn't shut my thoughts down.  It's nothing I'm worried about, it's just that when I left work yesterday I was right in the middle of it, so I was just taking up where I had left off.  Annoying.  I was very tired when the alarm went off and must have turned it off because next thing I knew I picked up my iPhone and it was 7 am.  I drove in.  It's just too stressful to deal with buses when you're in a hurry.

It's cloudy and chilly this morning but predicted to be clear and sunny the entire weekend with highs in the 80s.  This might be the weekend when I give the swimming pools a try.  Tonight I'm going up north to have dinner with some friends and I will be spending the night, so I'll be getting a late start tomorrow.  Maybe I'll get all my chores and errands out of the way tomorrow and then if it is indeed nice on Sunday I can lounge around outside for as long as I want.

I will make a big push on Saturday evening to get the mitts finished.  I promised my sister I'd put them in the mail next week.  Finishing - that's what August is going to be about.  And Saturday we'll be having another Seahawks pre-season game on TV.  Wow ... I just realized I've only got a week to get my fantasy scouting done.  We're having the draft on the 28th.  I will be attending via telephone.  Not as good as being there in person but that wasn't going to happen.  My nephew offered to draft for me -- ah, no.  I had a terrible team last year because they drafted - not for me but for the guy I replaced - and it was a terrible roster.  I will have a fighting chance if I can make my picks myself.  Last year was embarrassing but it is nearly impossible to completely replace all your players with good ones. 

18 August, 2011

Is this a scent for grownups??

Riding the bus -- we all know it's not my favorite thing.  It's not even in the top 25, quite frankly.  But it is a necessity now and I make the most of it.  Or, rather, the least of it.  I wear sunglasses so I can stare with impunity and keep my ear buds in and music or a book playing so I don't have to listen to the inane conversations around me.  [What's the female version of a curmudgeon?]  The smells though, I can't do anything about that.  Sometimes they are good and most of the times they are bad.  Very bad indeed.  This morning there was someone on the bus (I am assuming it was a woman) wearing some scent that was quite reminiscent of  a sweet breakfast roll.  That is not to say that I don't shower with sweet smelling shower gel.  I am quite the fan of the Philosophy vanilla soaps.  But I don't wear the perfume for crying out loud!  I arrived at work so hungry and just craving something sweet and squishy.  And I will have to settle for oatmeal and berries. 

Wednesday noon knitting I worked diligently on the fingerless driving mitts for my sister and then in the evening spent the better part of two hours on them.  I have 1/2 inch to go before I can cast off.  I always underestimate how long it will take me to complete these projects.  I should have the time down flat by now but no, I think I am a much faster knitter than I am.

I came to the sad realization yesterday that I will not be going to any Seahawks games this year!  I have no connections with tickets.  Come to think of it, I don't think I went to any last year either.  Did I?  No, I remember now I didn't.  I had a couple of chances but didn't take them because of who I would have to go with.  I guess we never know what's going to come up but I will resign myself now to watching them on TV.  It's not so bad - at least it's warm and dry and no traffic to fight.  This Saturday we have a pre-season game.  I will have to check the time.  I am spending the night with friends up in Mukilteo and I don't want to miss the start of the game.

I am looking forward to my run today.  I sure hope I can keep up the good speed!

17 August, 2011

A very special day

Yesterday was one of those wonderful days when everything went right and more than right.  The sun was shining, the sky was blue - that's a good start.  I had my job performance review to look forward to in the late morning and it went GREAT!  Everyone around here has been on pins and needles for a couple of years since all of the budget cuts started and I'm no exception.  But I was praised and when I lamented the fact that I hadn't been able to attend a meeting for a few years and felt like I was getting behind, I was assured that I could attend the next one - I just missed one in June.  That is all good news and I was very happy and relieved.  Then I went out for my run and ran the fastest mile yet!  Finally I got under 11 minutes, which may not seem to very fast to you but it felt like flying to me!  Now if I can just pare a few more second off that mile ..... but I mustn't be greedy.  I'm happy that I'm getting faster.  3 1/2 weeks until my next race.

I heard back from my friend in Luxembourg about my travel dates in November and she is fine with the dates we had discussed earlier.  Now I get to have the fun part - planning the itinerary, looking for things to see and do.  I am spending a few days on both ends of the trip in London catching up with another friend and I'll have plenty of time there to go to some museums and galleries, which I didn't do the last time.  I know it's weeks and weeks and weeks away but still, I can't help making plans. 

And for the finale, in the evening I met 3 of my favorite people for dinner.  We all yammered away for 2 or more hours, catching up and gossiping.  And I got to bed at a decent hour.  End of a perfect day.

Thank goodness it's Wednesday noon knitting and I can most likely get the hands done for the mitts and then tonight all I'll have to do is the thumb tops.  They won't be closed so it'll just be a few rows more and then a ribbed bind off.  I'd like to get them in the mail to my sister this weekend.

16 August, 2011

Could it have been a squirrel?

In my office/yarn room I have a big basket that sits on the floor next to my desk.  It is filled with yarn - partial skeins from projects that I have finished.  One day not too long ago I noticed that it had been disturbed.  At first I thought that it must have been Tink hiding a toy or chewy.  She does that often and most typically by trying to "bury" it on the couch behind a pillow or in the corner.  But when she was a  puppy I had a large plant in the house and she would also try to hide things there, so it wasn't a big jump to assume she was using the yarn basket to hide things.  However, a week or so later on I was moving things around and looked a bit closer at the basket and that's when I noticed that the edges were chewed.  NOT something Tink would do at all and my heart lurched because the first thing I thought was rodents!  Thank goodness there were no tell tale signs, the droppings.  Besides if there was a rodent in that apartment Tink would not rest until it was gone.  This was definitely chewed though ..... then I remembered that I had left the screen open one afternoon when I was out running errands or walking Tinkerbell.  I remember cursing myself for being so careless when I returned.  We also have a large population of squirrels in and around the building and gardens surrounding and I have seen them scaling the sides of the buildings and going onto balconies.  Yes, a squirrel is a rodent but not a rat or a mouse so somehow, to me at least, not as hideous a thought.  And it had to have been when we were out because if Tink had been home alone and there was a squirrel in the apartment it would look like a war zone.  She wants a squirrel more than anything in the world!  Lesson learned and I always check the screen now.

My run yesterday was really good!  All that time off, as I said before, seems to make me super fast on the first day back.  Well ... super fast .... it's all relative.  But I did do my first mile in 11:15.  Not light speed but not bad.  I have my job review today right before lunch.  I hope it doesn't go on for too long because if I get too hungry I can't run at all.

I am nearly done with the mitts for my sister.  Maybe another inch to go and then the thumbs.  I will be glad to get those out of my hair.  I have projects stacked up and waiting but I need to make a pact with myself that I won't start another big project until I finish up that Cloisonne Jacket I started a year ago.  All I need to do is finish the facings and sew them on!  Really, maybe two hours.  Soon it will be chilly enough to wear it and it would be a good transition piece.

Tonight there will be no knitting, for sure.  I am meeting friends for dinner at the Ram.  And it's a gorgeous day.  Maybe it'll be nice enough to sit outside tonight.

15 August, 2011

Rediscovering a simple pleasure

I do believe my knitting mojo has returned!  I found myself with an hour or so before I had to leave for a facial on Sunday.  The chores were done and those mitts for my sister have been haunting me, so I sat down and got to work.  No music playing, no audio book in my ears, just my knitting and my thoughts.  I finished up the increases for the thumbs.  Later that evening while I was watching a movie I got the thumbs on waste yarn and now I have a couple more inches to go and I think I could be finished with them by Wednesday.  They wouldn't be such a pain normally but since I am using cotton yarn, which has very little stretch, I need to make the entire hand ribbed and therefore it is slow going where normally I would just be zooming along.  I'm just happy I got over the hump, so to speak.

After the previous weekend I truly enjoyed my quiet this weekend.  I did a little shopping on Saturday -- I bought some dog stairs for Tink so that she could come and go at will without waking me in the night to come up or get off the bed.  However, they are not very sturdy and she seems afraid of them.  I think it'll take a bit of work on my part to get her used to the idea.  She didn't wake me last night though and that is a good thing.  I also found a sleep mask, which is something I have been on the look out for.  Light really bothers me when I am sleeping and my bedroom is so stuffy.  I have the window opened wide but I must keep the blinds closed which impedes the airflow.   I can't get any cross breeze in this apartment because there are no windows on the corridor side, of course.  But  now that I have the sleep mask I can keep the blinds opened and that in combination with the fan makes for a much more restful sleep. 

Today I will start my training again, after a couple of weeks of sloth.  The race in September is right around the corner and I'm going to sign up for another in October.  Also, stress levels are about to rise significantly and my two a day workouts are going to be good stress busters. 

12 August, 2011

Football is back!

Yesterday evening was the first pre-season game for the Seahawks and it was nationally televised.  They won, which is wonderful of course.  But it's pre-season so basically our 2nd and 3rd stringers beat the Chargers' 2nd and 3rd stringers.  Our first group didn't do so well.  Our new quarterback didn't have his favorite receiver to throw to and our defense was not working well together.  We did lose some very important guys there and they haven't been able to practice much yet so we can still be excited.  It's a very young team now.  You know what I say -- football is back and all is right with the world.

I drove in this morning because I have an appointment at 4:30 and need to dash home to walk the dog before I head to my appointment.  On these days when I drive I take elevators in the J wing and they are extremely slow and to make matters worse, most of the lights on the display above the doors are burnt out so one is never sure when the elevator is going to arrive.  The lights do work on the call buttons so one can easily see if the person standing and waiting for a car is going up or down.  So I am standing there after pushing the UP button, which is lit, patiently waiting for a car when this idiot in Teva sandals and white socks, an orange windbreaker carrying a nylon insulated lunch bag (I want you to have a complete picture in your mind), comes up beside me and pushes that UP button three or four times!!  It took every last ounce of strength for me not to say something like , "Oh, yes thanks.  I am sure you can push that button much better than I ever could."  See?  I don't have the snappy comeback ready for that situation and rather than look less than lethal tongued, I choked it back.  But the right thing is going to come to me and I'll keep it in reserve for the next time.  And oh, there is always a next time because this type of idiot seems to be everywhere.

I had forgotten that my  running clothes are in the hamper so there was no running yesterday and I wasn't about to do laundry last night so I have given myself this entire week off and next week I'll get back on the program.  I have two races coming up -- one in September and one in October.  I really really want to get a significantly better time so I've got to keep at it.

Also - no knitting to report.  I was just happy to recline on the couch and watch football.  But I am SO close to finishing up that Kaleidoscope cardigan and I know it'll be a fun sweater for the fall with a little tank under it with jeans.  Today I'm wearing that gorgeous Rondeur top.  I just love this top.  Maybe I should make another one with long sleeves.  The yarn is on sale at WEBS this month.  It's the Aimee yarn, which is a cotton and cashmere blend.  Super soft.  I will think about it.

Ready for the weekend.  Nothing huge planned.  Let's hope the weather is nice.  It looks like Sunday is going to be rainy so I should get all my running around done tomorrow.  And then if it is rainy on Sunday I can be content sitting and knitting.  There should be some pre-season on as well!

11 August, 2011

To fill in the blanks

What a wild ride these past six days have been!  It's almost a relief to be back at work.

The wild ride started at 2 pm Friday afternoon.  I was attending a meeting, then I was going to finish up and head home to walk Tink and take her to the kennel, then pack.  All in a leisurely manner to start the birthday weekend.  However, as I was sitting in the meeting with the chairman and several faculty members from another department that I had never met, I all of a sudden saw what can only be described as plumes of blood in my left eye.  Or to put it another way, all of a sudden there were lots of new floaters and they were huge and red.  NOT something one would typically see.  I was completely freaked out and excused myself and went to talk to a couple of women in the office, one of whom used to be a nurse.  We all decided, with a bit of help from Google, that it would be best to head to the emergency room.  I'll cut to the chase - all is well and it looks like it was a natural phenomena, but definitely out of the ordinary and I was right to seek help.  But the worst part was that the ophthalmology on call was at Harborview, so I had to take a cab home, get the dog and take her to the kennel and then drive in rush hour all the way downtown to Harborview.  I didn't get home until after 7 and I had all my packing to do.  That was not how I wanted to start the vacation.

Next morning I drove to my friend's house and parked my car and then we three hiked up the hill to the light rail and took it to the airport.  It was easy and very cosmopolitan.  The flight to Las Vegas was uneventful and we got there around lunchtime.  My friend McGarrah was already there and we met up for lunch and away we went.  That evening Kelli and Mike and I went to see Ron White perform.  He was hilarious.  However, a woman behind me had gotten sick .... made it a bit hard to sit through the show. 

It was BRUTALLY hot down there.  The Mandalay Bay has a wonderful area with pools and things but it was absolutely too hot for me to be outside and the place was crawling with kids!  Who brings their children to Las Vegas???  Ridiculous.  On Sunday my sister was busy putting a little party together so the rest of us went to old Las Vegas and that's fun.  We played blackjack and I won.  Perfect.  That evening my friend Anne and her husband were there as well, celebrating their wedding anniversary so we had a lovely little drinks party in Kelli and Mike's room then later we all went out to eat at a burger bar.  It was a large group so we had to split up and wait for a big table.  McGarrah and I went to the back of the place for a drink and I pointed out a large table of young men wearing hats and said, "They look like Jersey Boys".  Later Mike went back and asked them and got them to come to the table and sing Happy Birthday.  Adorable.  It was so fun.

Day of the birthday I had a nice slow morning, and then a lovely massage.  And that evening my sister and Mike went home, the nephews had driven out earlier that day and I was tired.  We were going to see a show but I just wanted a nice Italian meal and a quiet evening.  ha!  I got the nice Italian meal, but then McGarrah and I hit the tables.  I won at blackjack and I won at roulette!  It was insane.  And fun.  So much fun that it was a chore to get to the airport for that early flight.  I made it though and as soon as I got home and got Tink from the kennel I had a nap.  And kept a low profile yesterday as well.  I feel good though. 

I got a wonderful birthday phone call yesterday and bonus -- I got to play a message when I got to work.  But now back to reality.

09 August, 2011

BEST birthday ever

Oh my goodness. I am waiting to board my flight home. I feel like I could sleep for a week. It has been so much fun. I even won a little. Details to follow.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

08 August, 2011

So far so awesome!!

Tonight was the major b'day bash-- a few hours early but no problem'. There was champagne and presents and a personal birthday serenade by the cast of Jersey Boys! They were eating in the same restaurant and Mike and Kelli and Ann talked them into it! Very fun. I wish you were here.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

05 August, 2011

Aren't there audiobook editors?

There must be someone -- the director? -- who listens to an audiobook as it is being recorded.  One would assume that a professional narrator would know how to pronounce words, especially common ones.  I am currently listening to "Sing you home" by Jodi Picoult.  It has three narrators, two women and one man.  Both of the women mispronounce jewelery.  It's common enough for people to mangle that word, but a professional?  Every time they say it I want to scream, rip the headphones out of my ears and dash my iPhone to the ground in disgust!  Is this a normal reaction?  Perhaps not.  I don't do it, of course.  But I WANT to!

My run yesterday was glorious.  Strong and I can't wait for my next race to see if my faster miles will translate into a faster 5K.  Logic says it should but .....  Anyway, I'm not sure about running today, although I want to because I've got a decadent few days coming up.  Unfortunately both my ankle and knee of my left leg feel sore today.  The only reason I can think of is when I was getting in the car my left foot didn't pivot when I got in.  I felt a little twinge and forgot about it until this morning.  It will be a game time decision.

I am beginning to sound like a broken record but again, no knitting.  There was laundry to do and then I got a few phone calls, cooked some lovely salmon for dinner and there went the evening.  My friend Gregg, the one I sang with a few months ago, called to check in and let me know he's ready to get back to work.  I'm excited.  Oh!  And he has an audio of the performance he's going to send to me!  I can't wait to hear it.  I know the audience liked it so I want to hear what they heard.

It's going to be difficult to get through this day.  I am getting very excited about birthday in Vegas.  It's going to be so much fun!!!  I must take Tink to the kennel right after work and then get packed and do my best to get into bed at a decent hour because I have to be up at 6:30.  I'm also going to pack tonight and do my very best to not over pack.  I'm only going to be there for a long weekend and I'd really like to take my nice, smaller suitcase.  I'll just have to make it happen!  Oh .. and I made an appointment for a massage on Monday at the spa at the Mandalay Bay hotel, where we're staying, thanks to my sister.  Hopefully I'll have some fun pictures to post along the way.   

04 August, 2011


I actually did some knitting last night!  And it felt good too.  It was only for about an hour but nevertheless I feel like it's a big accomplishment.  There was no noon knitting yesterday because it would have been only me.  Instead of knitting I took a nice long walk along the lake.  Summer is finally here and it is so beautiful.  There is nothing like Seattle in the summer and I guess that's why we put up with the dark and damp days.  Whinging is part of the whole thing. 

My evening was a sweaty mess.  When my first bus arrived at our transfer spot my bus schedule app, "One Bus Away", showed the next bus coming to my stop was running late and it would be about 25 minutes.  Well heck, I can walk home in that amount of time, so I set off for home.  Unfortunately my footwear was something less than ideal for walking a mile and I quickly developed a blister on the bottom outside of my foot, causing me to curse my impatience.  And then ... then the bus went by and I couldn't make it to the stop in time.  The app was wrong and I had a long way to go.  I made it to the next bus stop and sat and waited a minute and caught a bus to take me the last few blocks.  That probably saved me from really hurting myself because this morning the blister has gone down and I should be able to run. 

Once home I had to get Tinkerbell walked and get a sample to take to the vet.  My wish was granted, I packed it up and we headed back home where I switched out her leash and off we went to see the vet.  They were very nice and tested the sample while I went to the grocery store, then we waited ... and waited for the doctor to get us the medicine.  Thankfully they couldn't find any nasty things in the sample like I had seen in the morning, but they took my word for it and gave me the stuff.  So again, after my chores it wasn't until 7:30 that I was able to sit and relax.  I had a cocktail, made a little dinner and then knit in my comfy chair until the siren song of the iPad drew me into the bedroom. 

My iPad was introduced to Amazon yesterday.  Oh Amazon .... they make it so incredibly easy!  I downloaded the Kindle app to my iPad and bought two technical manuals I needed for learning a new program so that I can ePublish our syllabi.  One click and the book was downloading onto my iPad through the wireless network.  A little miracle.  Then I set it up on it's little pink stand next to my desktop screen and I can read the book and work on the program simultaneously.  I don't like reading manuals on line because I have to switch from screen to screen and there is no annotation or bookmarking.  With my iPad this is not a problem.  It is perfect.  

03 August, 2011

Lost my rant!

Yesterday evening something got under my skin and I was going to rant about it this morning and now I can't remember what it was!!  How could that happen??  It was a good one, that much I remember.  One can only conclude that it wasn't truly that annoying I guess.

Here's what I did yesterday evening -- I played with my iPad.  AND ... I told a little white lie to avoid social contact just so I could do that!  I think, by definition, that makes me a bad person.  I also think that I'm probably not the only person to do such a thing to have quality hours with their newest toy.  We're still getting to know each other.  Of course, I stayed up way too late with it as well and I had a hard time getting out this morning, although I was able to catch the 7:39 bus so I was only a few minutes late.

Tink is sick ... she has parasites and let's not even think about how I know this.  I can't call the veterinary doctor's office until 9 am.  I hope this is a quick and inexpensive cure.  I  hate leaving her when she's sick and I'm supposed to drop her off at the kennel Friday evening.

Thank goodness today is Wednesday and I can actually get some knitting done!  Obviously I did not knit last night.  I believe I will take the mitts with me to Las Vegas.  I might knit.  You never know.

02 August, 2011

It looked so simple!

When I bought my iPad on Saturday I also bought a smart cover -- pink -- and a screen shield.  I put the screen protectors on my iPhone and I just can't imagine carrying that iPad around without protection for the screen, even though it has a cover.  Protection from scratches is the point.  It would just hate to accidentally scratch that beautiful screen.  Therefore I bought the best one they had and on Sunday I set about installing it.  Easier said than done, my friends.  It was, in fact, impossible to get that thing on there! I was so frustrated after ... oh maybe 30 minutes of trying .... that I just threw it away.  It had stuck to itself, it had flopped over onto the desk and picked up something that I couldn't get off.  I swear it had a life of its own.  I called the store yesterday and explained the situation and they said to just bring it back and they'd replace it and install it themselves for a small fee.  Done!  So after Tink's walk and a trip to the dry cleaner to get my new white jeans hemmed I headed over to Best Buy where I told that this is a very common occurrence and they put those screens on all the time.  I wish someone had mentioned that to me Saturday when I bought it.  And now it has to sit untouched for 24 hours.  Do you know how hard it was to bring that beauty home and not be able to touch it??  I left it at home today so I wouldn't be tempted.  I should be able to carve out some quality time tonight.

I didn't finish my after work chores and sit down until 7:30.  I was so tired from the day before and I wanted to go to bed early but I ended up staying up for a while longer than I had anticipated. No knitting but I watched a little bit of TV and got to bed at a decent hour but  I did not want to get going this morning.  And my apartment does stay very warm when the weather is warm so I need the fan going in the bedroom to make it tolerable.  Oddly the white noise coming from the fan mixed with the noise of the freeway sounds like someone talking on the radio so sometimes I wake up thinking the alarm has gone off when it hasn't.  I think I'll get a sleep mask because I can't get that bedroom dark enough to suit.

I had a very nice run yesterday.  It was warm enough for the running skirt but not blazing hot.  It does take me quite a while to cool down though.  I am going to try something this afternoon to hopefully make it a bit more comfortable for me while I do cool down.  Usually I just come into the office and get my lunch things and go eat but then I end up sitting there just pouring sweat (I know, not a pretty picture).  Today I will walk around outside for a few minutes.  Maybe that will do it.

01 August, 2011

Gadget struck

Summer came to Seattle this weekend.  Friday evening was gorgeous!  Saturday also just stunning.  Sunday -- a little hiccup in that it rained most of the day BUT it's blue skies and warm temperature for the entire rest of the week.  Finally.

I had a fun time Friday night.  What was supposed to be a short couple of drinks ended up to last until late but I woke up feeling great on Saturday.  Practically euphoric.  It must have been the sunshine and warm air.  After Tink's walk I headed out for my manicure and pedicure and grocery shopping.  It was an amazingly lucky day for me - crazy lucky.  And so I figured since things seemed to be going my way I would add to the mitzvah of it and I did a little fancy number manipulation and bought myself an early birthday present.  A very extravagant one but I have no buyer's remorse.  The iPad is pretty much the best grownup toy around.  I messed around with it Saturday night, of course, putting apps on there and now I have magazines and crossword puzzles and tons and tons of things.  I haven't even begun to scratch the surface yet.  My friend Ginny has 90 apps on hers!  90!  I can't wait to take a look at it and see what's she has.

Sunday was a really busy and long day.  It was, as I said, raining Sunday morning so our walk was a short one.  Then I headed out for a little shopping and then it was chores around the house and dog walks and I didn't sit down with the newspaper until 6 pm!  The day just got away from me.  Then I ended up playing with the iPad until WAY too late and when the alarm clock went off this morning I was deep deep into sleep.  I will have to go to bed early tonight to catch up. 

Now this is supposed to be a blog about knitting and I feel so guilty that I haven't posted any knitting pictures.  But I haven't been knitting!  I can't seem to find the time.  Oh ... and now the fantasy football is starting up and that's going to eat into my free time as well.  Anyway ... so there was absolutely no knitting at all this weekend.  BUT I did take some pictures of the WIPs and maybe my posting them I'll get off my lazy behind and actually do a little work on the projects. 

First we have the mitts I'm working on for my sister.  Yes, they are as vivid as they look in the pictures.  If you look closely you can see the thumb gussets.  I have about 10 more rows of thumb gussets to do, then I'll be nearly done.  I would like to finish them this week so I can bring them down with me to Las Vegas Saturday morning, but we'll see.  At the rate I've been going lately it doesn't seem likely, does it?

This is the Kaleidoscope Cardigan.  The needles are through the sleeves and I have about 2 more inches to do there before I do the ribbing for the sleeves.  They are 3/4 length.  Then I have to pick up for the button bands and knit them and that's going to take some time because it's a close fitting cardigan that is long-ish.  It is also vivid but I think will look cute with a pair of jeans with a black tank underneath it.

And finally we have the Milanese Shower Bolero.  I haven't done much on that at all.  This is the beginning of the two sleeves.  The lace pattern will show up better once it's blocked.  The yarn is lofty so the lace isn't showing up as well as it will.  The color is great and the yarn is so yummy and soft.  It's alpaca and silk.  I'm not in any great hurry with this because it's going to be a couple of months before I'll be able to wear it anyway.  It's going to be very warm.

Those are my neglected projects.  I do at least touch them every day and I am going to make a big effort to get some progress made.  Soon.  Very soon.

Now my big effort today is going to be not playing with my iPad when I should be working!