Month: April 2007 (page 1 of 3)


Oh god. It can’t be time to go back to work already! How can my vacation be over? It’s just too gruesome

Knitting Schwag

Secret Pal SchwagKnitting Schwag
Many, many thanks to my Secret Pal for the lovely package awaiting me this week! I received a Japanese knitting magazine, a pretty postcard, a clutch-type bag/pencil case, and four balls of Rowan cotton. I’m already using the bag to organize my knitting bits and pieces (tape measure, scissors, etc), so that’s really going to come in handy! But what in the world am I going to make with that bright yellow cotton?! I’m leaning towards socks right now, just because I can’t bear the thought of using Rowan for “warshcloths.” Any other ideas?

Trip SchwagAnd this here’s some of the stuff I picked up for myself on the trip. The three books are all from Amazon, and I conveniently had them sent to my Mom’s house to save postage. There’s also a metallic needle/stitch gauge that I picked up at Yoder’s in Shipshewana. The green sock is knitted out of Austermann Step, which I got at “Ewe-Nique Knits” in Goshen. It’s impregnated with jojoba and aloe vera, which makes it very soft and nice to knit with. The pattern is from the Favorite Socks book. I had planned to give them to my Secret Pal, but now that I’ve checked her size I think they might be a bit big. I may have to keep these for myself! I also got some cute Fimo stitch markers in Goshen, and a couple pairs of never-before-seen 12″ Addi Turbos for sock knitting. (They’re seriously tiny. That’s what the red sock is being knit with.) So yeah, the red. It’s my Koigu. I’m actually knitting the pattern on the cover of the 25 Favorites book, and it’s turning out so pretty. The Koigu is twisted tighter than I realized, and combined with the tiny needles and the lacy stitch, my hands are really aching. I also finished one other project on the trip: the Jo Sharp stockings. I actually did mine out of leftover Superbaby Alpaca, and I think they look super sexy (even without the ruffle to be sewn on the top).

Me and Emma

Me and Emma and her Postcards
So do you guys remember Emma? She’s the little girl who lives near my Dad who broke her leg two years ago. To help her pass the summer, her parents came up with the idea of collecting postcards. My Dad passed the request on to me, and you guys came through in spades. Well, on Easter I finally got to meet her! She’s obviously all healed now, and her Dad lugged over her scrapbooks so I could see her collection. Folks, she received over 650 postcards from all around the world! I saw mine, Stefanie‘s, Max‘s, Bridget’s, and many more. It was amazing. I also got a picture with her!Me and Emma

Emma’s the small one, obviously. (Her sister’s name was Hope, if I recall correctly.) Thank you again to everybody who participated! You turned what could’ve been an awful summer into something this little girl will never forget.

Biggest Loser

BAH! So boring old Chris won The Biggest Loser last night. I thought he (and Michael) looked terrible. You could tell they’d basically just starved themselves with very little exercise. Neither of them had much muscle definition at all. Chris looked like one of those anorexic lollipop-headed women! I think he went about 10kg too far. (The official site has much debate over his tactics.) I much preferred my boy Marty, who I predict will have no trouble getting dates now. Sure, he’s a bit goofy, but he’s a nice guy who looks super fit for his age. I was also amazed by Munnalita, not least because she appears to have gotten a really good stylist. Her audition tape made her look like a drag queen, and now she looks ten years younger and a lot sexier. Good on her!

Books I Read

Books I Read on our Trip:

Read on for my thoughts on each.- The Red Dahlia by Lynda La Plante
This one was lent to me by my co-worker Bridget right before we left on the trip. It’s a pretty straightforward crime thriller and I plowed through it, finishing just before we landed in America. I found the resolution a little surprising, mostly because I was expecting more of a twist. I also thought that the characters got remarkably dumb at the end; I knew where the villain was waaaay before they figured it out. Still, it was a relatively entertaining page turner.

Map of Bones by James Rollins
My Dad’s wife Cindy lent me this one to read on the flight to Orlando. It’s basically a Da Vinci Code knockoff, with a bunch of secret agents running around Europe trying to defeat an ancient society of alchemists. I couldn’t even name a single character at this point, so they must have all been pretty forgettable. Mostly I was hooked because the initial murder takes place in the Cathedral in Cologne, Germany, where I’ve actually been. But I’d only recommend this one if you’re a big Dan Brown fan.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (Comic) Issue 2
Yay! Picked this one up at a comic book store in Evanston, Illinois. Giles! Willow! I’m a big fan.

Marvel 1602 (Trade Paperback)
I actually found this one at Target in Goshen, Indiana. I hadn’t heard of it before, but the idea of Neil Gaiman setting superheroes in Elizabethan England was too cool to pass up. I really liked it! Luckily I’ve been exposed to enough of the Marvel universe now to recognize most of the characters. I especially liked meeting the Fantastic Four, since I haven’t really read any of their stuff yet. (It took me, like, ten minutes to get what had happened when the glass thing in Doom’s bedroom breaks and “someone” calls Natasha a whore. That ruled.) So overall, I’d give this one a big thumbs-up to newbie fans like me who are still wary of jumping into the current comics chronology.

Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud
This was awesome. I picked it up on a whim at a bookshop in O’Hare and I just devoured it. I remember at one point actually feeling like a lightbulb had gone off over my head as McCloud perfectly illustrated how and why comics work. It reminded me of a lot of my film studies in college, but it’s written in such a way as to be accessible to everybody. Now I’d just like to find something similar that talks about the history of comics, especially as pertains to the 20th century. Any recommendations?

The Know-It-All by A.J. Jacobs
I actually haven’t quite finished this one yet. I picked it up at LAX and I’m about 2/3 of the way through. It’s about one guy’s random obsession with reading the entire Encyclopedia Britannica. I’m enjoying it in much the same way I enjoy Bill Bryson’s work. It indulges in my love of pointless trivia and knowledge while occasionally making me laugh out loud. So far, so good!


I can’t believe I forgot to mention this! So on my last day in LA, my sister and her friends took me out to lunch at… Moonshadows in Malibu. Which means nothing to you until I tell you that it was where Mel Gibson got infamously tanked on the night of his arrest. HOW COOL IS THAT? Nobody could tell me what Mel was drinking, so I had to settle with a mimosa.

Trip Photos

Me and the Snook at EpcotTrip photos are up!
Even though I’m still suffering from cripping jet lag, I managed to prop my eyes open long enough today to post the pictures and commentary from our trip. I made a special point of linking to the hotels and restaurants we liked, so if you’re heading to Orlando anytime soon, you might be interested. And at long last, you’ll get to hear the story of our adventure at Space Camp!

Hug an Australian

I’ve just learned that today is Hug an Australian Day. Luckily I got that one covered. Every day is Hug an Australian Day around my house. (Link courtesy of Amy.)

Eat the Baby

Huh. It appears that someone has coined a word – “nervio” – to describe the sensation of loving someone so much you want to squeeze them to bits. Or, in my case, being so enamored of a baby’s chubby thighs that you want to eat them up.


Me and PennSaying goodbye and coming home…
It’s hard. It’s always hard, but this one was awful. It’s funny; I wouldn’t have been so sad had I left a week earlier. During the big crazy family holiday crush of Easter, it was easy to fall into old patterns and relationships. I found myself getting stressed out and annoyed too easily. Snookums speculated that it was because I didn’t get to be the star of the show: everybody wanted to see the baby. There’s probably some truth in that. I got in a few cuddles with Penn myself, but I was happy to recede into the background and let others fight over him (knowing I was going to have one-on-one time later). Eventually Snookums came home, and I headed to LA for three days of “living with the baby.” I promised the Snook that I’d be a gracious guest and try not to fight with my sister too much. He needn’t have worried. That was probably the first three days I’ve ever spent with Amy without us arguing once. (My Mom nearly fell over when I told her.) And it wasn’t like we were holding back; it was more like the old petty crap just suddenly didn’t matter out there. I got to see what it’s really like for her, how much work raising a little baby actually is. I also fell in love with that little boy. Yeah, he’s fussy and exasperating at times… but when those wandering little baby eyes land on you and he just SMILES in happiness at seeing his Aunty Kris… Let’s just say it was really, really hard to leave. (Amy’s write-up is here.) But now I’m home, and the reality of the situation is what it is, you know? Right now this is our life and that is theirs, and the best we can do is share it however we can.

That said, it is nice to be back in my house, with my bed and my cat and my own Dear Husband. Photos and a full vacation write-up will have to wait til I fight off this jet lag though…