July 31, 2009
old friends, looks like rain, and new beginnings
posted by soe 12:38 am
Wow! It’s Thursday already and time for Three Beautiful Things from the last week:
1. Thursday night, we ate dinner in New York City with Erik, Eri, and ECN. We talked and laughed and listened and generally got caught back up on each other’s lives. It was just what such a gathering should be. The only bad things about the night? We forgot to take a picture to commemorate the moment, and, Rebs, we missed you!
2. Rudi and I got to Grounds for Sculpture just before a rainstorm plunked itself down over the park. Rain is such an insignificant word to describe what came down. Torrents. Deluge. Monsoon. Flash floods closed neighboring roads. By the time we got back to the car, I had to wring out my socks. But the water chased away all our fellow visitors, leaving Rudi and me alone to wade through 34 acres of sculpture and gardens and water features (some of which even existed before the storm). Honestly, it was such a fun, romantic way to spend the morning that I wouldn’t have traded it for the clearest, most sunshiny day.
3. I got to see Karen and meet Marshall, one month old:
Aren’t they perfect?
July 30, 2009
i had forgotten
posted by soe 2:13 am
After you exclusively knit socks for a while, it’s shocking how fast worsted weight yarn on US 10 needles knits up.
July 28, 2009
posted by soe 11:03 pm
A number of blogs I read regularly post their responses to the weekly meme, Ten on Tuesday. I’m not always excited by them, but I thought this week’s topic was an interesting one. Of course, I couldn’t stick with just ten, so I expanded it to a round dozen (it’s still alliterative, so I think it’s fine):
Twelve Favorite Sounds:
- Rudi’s whistle (It’s more polite than shouting, I think, although you do get weird looks when whistling to someone in public…)
- Waves lapping at the beach
- Echoing cracks of thunder late at night (I was scared of nighttime thunderstorms when I was little, but I remember coming out to Mum in the living room one night and her explaining that she found it a comforting sound. And I was never frightened of thunder again.) (I also like to be close enough to fireworks to feel them explode. I think it’s a similar feeling/sound.)
- The silence of a snowstorm
- The crackle of a fire (particularly the pop of pine cones, which remind me of camping as a kid)
- A cappella harmonies (particularly of women singers)
- The purring of a content cat — or three (Posey is sprawled on my lap as I type this…)
- Little kids’ unfettered fits of giggling
- The sound of a loved one’s voice — over the phone line or in person
- A favorite song coming through my speakers/headphones — whether at my request or by happenstance, it matters not!
- Rain tapping on the window or roof first thing in the morning or last thing at night
- The crack of wood and leather when a batter connects well with a pitched ball
Do you have favorite sounds?
July 26, 2009
satire, shared interest, and summer harvest
posted by soe 11:59 am
Oops! I somehow thought I was going to get back to a computer on Thursday so I could offer you three beautiful things from the road, but that didn’t end up being the case. Apologies to those of you who pop in here once a week looking for some upbeat content. Here, belatedly, are three beautiful things from last week:
1. Michael’s play, The Quick Brown Fox Jumped over the Lazy Dogs was excellent. I admit that I was worried it would feel dated, but Michael had written new material to keep it current and I feel like the audience got a lot out of it.
2. Rudi and I have been getting up each morning and watching the live stream of the Tour de France on the computer. Rudi has long been interested in the Tour and I have paid enough attention to be able to ask intelligent questions in years past. This year, though, I actively followed along and had many a nice moment cheering a particularly dramatic sprint or heroic mountain climb.
3. Peppers flourish in our garden and this season is no exception, when I doubled the number we normally plant. I stopped by on Wednesday afternoon to water and came home with a handful of hot peppers, as well as three beans.
July 22, 2009
posted by soe 9:50 am
Rudi and I are heading out on vacation today. So what are we doing right now? Cleaning? Packing? Buying the cats some more food and litter?
We’re watching the Tour de France.
We’ll get to those all-important pre-trip tasks soon, as well as a stop by the garden, the library, and a couple spots to drop off Michael’s posters and postcards. (In D.C.? Go see his play Friday, Saturday, or Sunday at Redrum at Fort Fringe. You’ll laugh. You’ll feel smart. You’ll think it’s much better than Cats.)
But our first day of vacation will be a relaxed one. We’re only planning to go as far as Princeton, N.J., this evening, so we can wander about town tonight and then backtrack a smidge to the Grounds for Sculpture. Tomorrow evening is our first real appointment, when we have New York City dinner plans with Erik and maybe a couple of other friends.
Friday we’ll head upstate. We’re hoping to spend some time with my college roommate, but if that doesn’t work out, there’s still bike riding and wandering about Dutchess County.
Saturday, we head up to the folk festival. Shelley and Mike weren’t able to camp the whole weekend this year, and we’ve had a couple years in a row of torrential rains (plus hail, fire, and tornado) which made us think a year of doing a daytrip might be in order. The fact we aren’t camping should guarantee the festival beautiful, picture-perfect weather for the whole weekend.
Sunday, we’ll be at my folks and hope to head a bit further east to catch up with Karen and meet Marshall if they’re feeling up for a visit. If not, some more family time and bike riding will give us a relaxing conclusion to our holiday before we head south again on Monday.
But, in the meantime, we have another 19 kilometers of today’s Tour de France stage to go.
worth 1,000 words?
posted by soe 12:47 am
July 21, 2009
readalong: summer vacation
posted by soe 1:59 am
I’m making progress on the two readalongs I’m already signed up for, so thought I might add a third one for the summer.
Molly at My Cozy Book Nook is hosting a Summer Vacation Reading Challenge:
I love to travel, but with the economy the way it is, a get-away summer vacation is not in the budget this year. However, books are very affordable (and libraries add new meaning to the phrase “price is no object”). I anticipate taking many ‘literary’ vacations over the course of the next few months, and I hope you can join me as well.
… You may read any literary genre that you enjoy – provided it allows you to “travel” to a different locale that you would like to visit.
I will be participating in the Beach Bum category, which asks me to read three books by Labor Day.
I’m not sure about which books I’ll pick, but I’m hopeful that Shannon Hale’s adult novel, Austenland, will be amongst them. Other potential locales include a Midwestern dairy farm, a fancy Parisian apartment building, an Ottawa community of Scots, and outer space (DON’T PANIC!).
July 18, 2009
posted by soe 9:26 am
I like today’s Unshelved.
July 17, 2009
portland, here i come
posted by soe 11:26 pm
So… you know how I like to knit socks? Well, come next month, I’m going to fly out to Portland, Oregon, to the first ever Sock Summit, a knitting extravaganza for those of us obsessed with creating clothing for feet.
When they opened up registration back at the end of May, the enthusiasm of knitters worldwide caused a system crash the likes of which hadn’t been seen since Iceland’s economy flat-lined. Thirty thousand simultaneous hits on a site, while flattering, do not do good things to its servers. The site crashed, took a long time to reboot, and then experienced some hiccups in showing what availability existed in classes.
I was one of the lucky knitters. I hopped back onto the site shortly after it came back up and, not finding any openings in the longer classes I was interested in, managed to enroll in four hour-long classes on Saturday and Sunday. I have two mini classes related to knitting socks from the toe up (I’m much more comfortable with knitting a sock from the top down), a lecture on Turkish colorwork (which includes the opportunity to try some techniques), and an hour devoted to ergonomically correct knitting (personally, I’m hoping some massage technique tips get worked into that one). None of those classes were originally on my radar, but I bet they’re going to be fascinating and that I will learn a lot.
I’d enrolled in those classes while at my folks’ and was on a plane heading home when the organizers realized that classes weren’t showing up properly on the schedule. When I got back to the Burrow to the message that additional classes had opened up, I was able to add a half-day class on knitting fancy cuffs on my socks — some to make my socks more girly and others to appeal to my more manly recipients. It was a class I’d been really interested in, so I was delighted. (And lucky. There were tons of knitters out there who got shut out altogether.)
I admit that while I reserved a hotel room back in April, long before registration opened, I had waited to book a flight until I knew that I had managed to secure a class or two. The price of flights had been high all spring, so I was sure that prices had to come down sooner or later.
I compared travel discount sites and low-cost carriers.
To be frank, I started to stress.
I contemplated selling off my classes.
Earlier this week, the Sock Summit organizers wrote, saying they were going to hold a lottery to distribute the last returned slots. I decided this was do or die. If I got into an additional class, I’d suck it up and buy a plane ticket.
Tonight I got an email from one of the Sock Team 2 members, asking if I was still interested in the knee sock class.
I bought my plane ticket.
Pacific Northwest, watch out!
July 16, 2009
pink, pool, and potter
posted by soe 11:28 pm
Thursdays always bring three beautiful things from the past week:
1. Opening day for a movie (particularly a long anticipated one) is always cause for celebration — and sometimes a costume. I opted for a Tonksish appearance — skirt, sneakers, and t-shirt complemented by green striped socks, a black robe, and neon pink hair.
2. The deep end of the pool was uncrowded. I turned somersaults in the water to celebrate a warm Sunday evening.
3. There was a wee little movie that opened on Wednesday. Perhaps you’ve heard? I thought its ending lacked the emotional intensity of the book and, as always, too much was left out, but it may (just may; it’s too early for an official ruling) be my favorite of the bunch.
What’s been beautiful in your world lately?