Month: November 2009 (page 1 of 5)

Kristen had her baby!

Yay, Kristen finally had her baby! Congrats to her, Mark, and Alexander on the addition to the family.

Weekend Update

Weekend Update: We kept things pretty simple this weekend. Friday night was pizza from Crust in Surry Hills. Saturday morning the Snook joined me on the train to Pennant Hills, where I was scheduled to give my “Welcome to the Knitternet” presentation at the library. It was great! There were about twenty knitters there, most of them a fair bit older than me. (Only one of them was from the Guild; the rest were unaffiliated local charity knitters so I tried to be a good Guild representative. Well, as good as I can be.) I talked for over an hour about the various knitting blogs, podcasts, retail, and pattern sites on the ‘Net, and I gave them advice on searching and security. (One big revelation was that most of them didn’t realise that you can have more than one email address!) The library had printed out the handout I’d sent, and the audience took down a lot of notes too. They all seemed quite energised at the end and inspired to get right on Ravelry. Afterwards, Atholie (aka GrandmaFlea) took the Snook and I out for lunch. A fun little outing! Back at home, the rest of the day was about napping, knitting, and staying cool. On Sunday, I headed out for a long run (10.5km) in Centennial Park in the morning. I was pretty slow due to the heat, but I felt good. (Good enough to start thinking about doing a real marathon next year. Eeep!) In the afternoon, we ran errands, worked in the garden, and baked a spinach pie. Now, I think I’ll tuck in early for bed…

Fantastic Mr Fox

Ebert gives Fantastic Mr Fox 3.5 stars. I think he needs to re-read some of his Dahl though. “Like the hero of “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” also based on one of his books, the creatures of Dahl’s valley seem to know more than they’re letting on; perhaps even secrets we don’t much want to know.” WTF? Oh wait, is he talking about Wonka and not Charlie? That makes more sense. I mean, Charlie is pretty much a blank vessel as a character.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! Here I sit in an office on an 80-degree day, thinking of my family and friends celebrating halfway around the world. Still, there are reasons to be thankful…

  • I’ve got a great job in a career that really suits me, and with a lot of potential for growth in the future. I earn good money; I like my co-workers; I’m interested in what I’m doing. And I’m coming up on my one-year anniversary with the company!
  • We’ve got our own house in a nice neighbourhood within walking distance to work. Our mortgage has just come out of its fixed rate period and, thanks to the current lower rates, we’re able to make extra repayments to pay it off faster. And we’ve got some great neighbours.
  • We’re both healthy. Yeah, I’ve put on some of the weight that I lost, but I’m fit and I can run far (and increasingly fast).
  • Great friends.
  • Two cuddly cats that occasionally get along.
  • And even though I don’t get to see them very often, my family and friends in the US are all doing well. On my next visit I’ve got new nieces and nephews to cuddle; new houses to see; and new jobs to discuss. Everyone’s okay.

Last but not least, of course, I’m thankful that I get to spend every day with my best friend in the world. If all else failed, that would be enough.

The Boathouse at Blackwattle Bay

OystersThe Boathouse at Blackwattle Bay
Last Friday was our fifth wedding anniversary, so we headed over to the Boathouse at Blackwattle Bay for dinner. We’d never been there before, but it was highly recommended — and even better, Eileen had gotten us a gift certificate! The restaurant is literally right above the Sydney Uni boathouse, sticking out into the water, and we watched a number of dragon boat crews zooming around the bay at dusk. The vibe was casual but upmarket. We started by sampling some different types of oysters: two from the south coast and two from Queensland. They were great. I’m not enough of an oyster connoisseur yet to tell you the difference, but the Snook said the Queensland one was definitely sweeter and firmer. We also shared an entree of “Seared Yellowfin Tuna with Organic Soy Dressing, Quail Egg & Shiso Leaf.” Tiny but very flavorful.

Snapper PieNow the mains. I’d heard that their Snapper Pie was a specialty, so I was already leaning that direction. But then I actually saw it delivered to our next table. Wow! They make quite a presentation of it. The pie is wheeled out on a cart by a server, who makes a special show of plating up half the crust along with a portion of the fish and gravy. As soon as she cut open that crust, the smell of truffles whacked me in the face. TRUFFLES! That sealed it. So I had the snapper pie (served with mashed potato and a smoked tomato) while the Snook had the “New Zealand Pink Ling Involtini with Black Olive, Pancetta & Asparagus.” The pie was everything I hoped it would be. SO GOOD. Yeah, it was the better part of $50, but it was so worth it. I should also point out that the utensils pictured here are big serving spoons, not normal cutlery. It’s a very generous dish, and I ate every scrap! (I later asked the waiter if the recipe was available, and he told me in a whisper that it was on the Internet. Sweeeeeet.) The Snook’s dish was well-prepared and the flavour was great, but he discovered he’s not much of a fan of the texture of ling. Anyway, we were getting full by this point so we decided to just share some cheese for dessert. The cheese plates were certainly generous. Each one came with a number of different breads, grapes, fig jam, and sliced apple. We were stuffed. It was such a good meal.

The final verdict: I loved the pie so much and I’d go back in a heartbeat… but it’s not cheap. With that food and three drinks, we were up over $250. Nice if you’ve got a gift certificate, but a bit pricey for visiting more than once or twice a year. I’d say to save this one for a special occasion… and give that online recipe a try!

Pumpkin Spiced and Iced Cookies

Pumpkin Spiced and Iced CookiesPumpkin Spiced and Iced Cookies
Happy Thanksgiving! I celebrated by baking a big batch of these cookies and taking them in to work. They were great! They didn’t spread very much, and they remained quite soft and cakey. I was worried that pumpkin PLUS chocolate PLUS walnuts would be a bit over the top, but it all worked together. Highly recommended!

Exhibitionists at Broadway

Since a few people have contacted me about it: yes, I saw the story about the Sydney people shagging on a rooftop. In fact, that building is like two blocks from our house and I wait in front of it for a bus every morning! However, I was demonstrably at work at 3.30pm last Friday and my hair is red. NOT US, FOLKS.

The Muppets do Bohemian Rhapsody

The Muppets do “Bohemian Rhapsody.” I wasn’t expecting much, but I laughed and laughed.

Impromptu Knitting Salon

Impromptu Knitting Salon
At lunchtime yesterday I spotted a tweet from Bells: “@web_goddess @mrs_sockvictim Turns out I will be in Newtown this evening while hubby is at a gig at the Enmore. Looking for company. Free?” Say no more! Miss Fee had a prior engagement, so I volunteered to play hostess while Bells’s hubby attended a concert. (I did check with the Snook that he was okay with knitters invading the house. He didn’t mind.) After some furious emailing back and forth, we ended up a party of seven at my house in Chippendale. There was knitting, wine, vegetable curry, even some Pride & Prejudice towards the end of the evening. It was a fun way to spend the evening!

Knitting salon

Knitting salon

Thanks to Rachel, Tia, JP, Ness, and Fiona for joining us at such late notice. I think we Sydney knitters made a good impression on dear Bells!

How to start reading comics

How to start reading comics. Twenty suggestions for people looking to get into comics. I haven’t read, like, any of those, so I’m bookmarking the list.