Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Sink Saga

There has been a string of mishaps in my kitchen lately. I wish I could say these were cooking mishaps...the kind of thing that happens when you experiment for the first time with spun sugar or forget to soak bamboo skewers before putting them on the grill.

No, these are the kind of mishaps that happen not through your own doing, but by faulty plumbing.

Last Thursday, I was draining the dish water from the sink when I heard a loud "whooshing" sound. I opened the cabinet below, and there was all my dish water, emptying all over my cleaning supplies. The handyman came out, let me know the pipes were clogged, got that fixed. Life was good.

Tuesday morning I was getting ready to head off to work when I heard a dripping from the kitchen. Water was dripping through the upper cabinets and on to the counter. I emptied out the cabinet (all my food is still on my kitchen table) and called the landlord again. The handyman came out again, let me know the pipes in the apartment upstairs were leaking, the plumber was coming to fix that. Life was good.

I got home Tuesday night and my sink had about an inch of standing water and black sludge in it. Life is still good, but the sink is not.

Once again, I called. Fixing the pipes upstairs caused more problems in my pipes. Someone is coming out this morning to fix my sink, which hopefully does not cause problems in the sink below me!

All this left me feeling bummed out, so last night D and I went to Cecil's Deli and he bought me latkes.

I am almost done with my second stripey sock, and in fact would be done, if not for the West Wing. Tuesday morning while I waited for the handyman, I watched two episodes of the West Wing and worked on the sock...just knitting around and around and around...until I had knit about 2 inches too much. I ripped that all out and am working on the toe. Should be done this week!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Lazy Saturday

It was so cold here today that D's car wouldn't start. Brrrr! That's cold. As such, I missed my Arabic dance class, but the car did start in the afternoon so we headed out so I could get some tap shoes for my tap dancing class. It is going to be a busy few months for me. Tap dancing Tuesday and Thursday, Arabic dancing on Saturday, and a strength training class on Monday and Wednesday. When will I knit?

On the bus of course!

I am actually knitting right now while uploading CDs to iTunes and listening to American Routes on MPR. I love this program. If I could, I would stay home every Saturday night to listen to it, but that seems a bit impractical. Sadly, there doesn't seem to be a podcast of it. Speaking of sad, my one of my other favorite public radio programs, Weekend America, has been canceled. Hopefully my other favorite programs will be safe for the time being.

So, back to knitting. The second stripey sock is coming along nicely. Should be done in the next few days and then I will finally have striped socks. Woo-hoo!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Finally

I am sitting here in my cube waiting for D to come and whisk me away to the Rec Center so we can get all sweaty. Working out. On a treadmill or something.

I have a headache and my eye is achy. It still aches most days. When will that end?

I made the mistake today of watching a video on Youtube of a surgery for retinal detachment. I'm not normally a squeamish person, but after about twenty seconds I had to turn it off. It was horrible to watch. Thank goodness I didn't see it BEFORE my surgery.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

January 20th - Inaugeration and First Day of Classes

The first day of classes at the U of M was yesterday. And unless you've been living under a rock, you know it was also the inauguration of President Barack Obama (squee! I love to type that). Since I work at the U of M, I wasn't able to take the day off or watch the inauguration as it happened. I'll have to wait to watch it on Tivo this weekend.

In knitting news, I finished the first of my blue striped socks using the Magic Loop. It seems a bit loose around the ankle, but other than that fits just fine. I'll get started on the second one tonight.

I also took a picture of my little Eee PC sitting with D's laptop. His laptop looks like it is going to eat Lulu (Yes, I have named my teeny tiny laptop Lulu. I also make stuffed animals talk).

To respond to the question asked in the comments from my last post, I do plan to knit a cozy for Lulu. I've got a plan and it involves intarsia, so it may be awhile before there is a finished product. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

My New Toy

I bought a new toy today! It is an ASUS Eee PC.

I've been wanting one of these for a while now, and they had them on sale at Target (well, the sign said "As Advertised") and I had a 10% off coupon, so I brought one home with me.

I'm still getting used to it. It has a pretty tiny keyboard and I keep hitting buttons I don't want to, but I think I'll be fine. I haven't had a computer at home, so this will be nice. I should be able to blog more and spend even more time on Ravelry!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Lazy Sunday

I'm sitting here on a lazy Sunday morning, reading the paper, drinking my coffee, eating sausage patties. I'm pretty protective of my Sundays. I have to confess, I get a little irritated when I have to go somewhere on a Sunday. That means I can't sit around in my pajamas as long as possible until I begin to feel somewhat like a slug.

Regardless, in a bit here D and I will head out to the Rec Center so I can work off those sausage patties. Maybe Al Franken will be there. Probably not.

Yesterday we met some friends at the Bulldog in Lowertown. I had the Stinky Dog, a hot dog with blue cheese, onions, roasted garlic, and spicy brown mustard. Yum! The french fries were yummy too. They have quite the beer selection and they put together some really great flights so you can sample some new things without committing to 6 pints of beer and a hangover.

I've also been working on my first pair of socks using the Magic Loop. I am really enjoying this method. I picked it up pretty quickly and here is the progress so far.

The yarn is Cascade Sassy Stripes that I got at Crafty Planet. I think these will be a favorite pair as I like the colors and the stripe pattern. Lately, my knitting moves at a snail's pace, so it may be some time before you see a finished product.

Our Ireland trip is now only two month's away! There are a few big details to be arranged still...hotel in Dublin, hotel near Shannon (to accommodate our flights in and out) and the rental car. I also need to put on my Michelle's Travel Service hat and present our friends with some daytime activity options. If anyone out there has suggestions, leave them in the comments.

Stay warm ya'll! It's supposed to be bitterly cold here over the next week...some days the predicted high is ZERO. That's in Fahrenheit, so yeah. Pretty cold. You Bethcha!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

And Gosh Darn It, People Like Me!

Yesterday was the opening day of the 111th Congress. Sadly, Minnesota is still lacking one senator. The recount has Al Franken ahead of Norm Coleman by a slim margin, but a winner has not been announced and Coleman has filed a lawsuit challenging the recount results.

Since Al Franken is not in Washington, he's hanging out at the U of M Rec Center! Yes! D and I saw him there last night! Shorts, t-shirt, and white gym socks.

I came out of the locker room after a grueling workout (with the combination lock), and noted a kind of dorky looking guy at the desk just outside. Seriously. He was asking about a locker and my thought was, "that guy looks like a dork".

As I waited for D, I got a better look at the guy and thought, "That looks like Al Franken". The hair, the side of the glasses I could see...could it be? Then he turned and headed toward us and my mouth dropped open. "Hey! That's Al Franken!" I immediately regretted my dork thought.

He was stopped by a woman who said "Congratulations" and shook his hand. A few people clapped a bit. He started heading up the stairs about the same time D and I left. Perhaps my coat brushed against him!

I was too shy to say hello and shake his hand, but I wish I had.

Later at home, I was a little star-struck as I sat on my couch and thought, "I saw Stuart Smalley!"

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year, Part Deux

I'm not making any New Year's Resolutions. I won't keep them anyway, and then in addition to not losing weight, not exercising enough, and not keeping in better touch with my family, I also have to deal with my lack-of-stick-to-it-iveness.

Rather, I'll share my favorite 2008 things.

Best Pet: Zoey the Cat. Oh Zoey. Why did you have to go?

Favorite person to talk to on the phone: The Little Guy…he always has fun things to tell about the moon, owls, snowmen, his train set, and talking airplanes. Speaking two-year old gets easier every day.

Favorite place to eat: This year, I go with the Nook. True comfort is a Juciy Nookie burger on a cold, rainy afternoon.

Favorite New Place to Eat: Brasa. I want to go back. Anyone want to go with me?

And One More Favorite Place to Eat: Wilde Roast Cafe. Really good tuna melt.

Best Day Off: "Playing Hooky Day" with Kym and Kyle. What was the highlight? The AMAZING burgers at Salut? The tour of the Summit Brewery? Seeing Han Solo’s clothes? Hard to pick.

Best Vacation: Disney World…not that my other trips weren't great, but I think it is hard to beat Disney World on your birthday.

Best work trip: Disney World…not that Rochester wasn’t great, but I think it is hard to beat Disney World and there were fireworks every night.

Best Knitting Moment: Hats and pacifier clips. I’ve scaled down my expectations considerably.

Favorite Movie: Tropic Thunder…”My face looks like a koi fish stuck inside an almond cookie”. Granted, I just saw it so it is freshest in my mind, but it was pretty funny.


Favorite New Treat: Salted Caramel Ice Cream at Izzy's.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2009! Nothing like finally finishing a knitting project to start the New Year! Here are my Soctoberfest Mystery Socks, or as I like to call them, "The Socks That Took Forever".

Pattern: Through the Loops Socktoberfest Mystery Socks
Yarn: Knit Picks Memories in Cape Cod, 2 Skeins
Started: Sometime in October
Finished: Way too much later in December

I like the Knitpicks Memories sock yarn a lot. The socks are very cozy and soft...the way socks should be.

I also knit up a little baby hat over the weekend for some friends. We had a little ceremony to welcome the baby to the group. Everyone stated what they hoped he would have in his life, and my hope was that he would always be surrounded by the warmth of family and friends. And handknits. Well, actually the hat was a symbol of the warmth.

It is just a simple cap in Rowan Handknit Cotton. It'll probably fit him next winter...it's a little big.

D and I spent New Year's Eve with the same group of friends, and I am now recovering from celebrating a little too much. I hope that isn't the case for any of you.