Sunday, October 28, 2007

Now a Teenager

Little Sister turned 13 this month. We had a family party for her last night. Patrick and I usually make her birthday cake, and in the past she has wanted a strawberry cake. This year she surprised us by asking for a giant chocolate chip cookie.

I went online to search for recipes. Normally I hate Emeril, what with his spices bamming all over the place, but I decided to give his recipe for a chocolate chip cookie cake a try. It was fantastic! The only change I made was to pour the batter into a 9-inch round cake pan (thanks for the wedding present Marc!). You should give it a try.

My friend John got me a subscription to a magazine called Craft, which is always full of neat ideas. Sis loves to look through it and bookmark projects. That's how we found out about this cute bunny made of felt. Patrick's mom and I each made one and incorporated them into our gift wrapping. Each bunny is about 3 inches tall. Part of my gift for Sis was a copy of the designer's book, The Cute Book--and it really is cute!

The in-laws leave tomorrow. They've been such a huge help to us this visit. The wall sconces are now installed, and the exhaust fan is pretty close. Soon we'll be able to paint!!!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Boring and Interesting

I found out today that Malden Arts has received the grant we applied for! This is great news.

Traci and F came over for dinner last night. My in-laws loved him, and he was very well-behaved (not that I would expect that from a one-year-old). The subject of my blog came up. Patrick hadn't read the blog until recently, and he's never left a comment. He claims that he doesn't comment because the blog is boring (he says this only half-jokingly). To quote him, "You put the blah back in blog." Well screw him! Not really, but I don't care--I'm going to keep posting. He can make his own interesting blog, and then he can talk to me about blah.

Yesterday we went with Patrick's parents to the De Cordova museum. The bulk of it is an outdoor sculpture park, with some indoor exhibits of a variety of media. The temporary exhibit that Patrick wanted to see is called Trainscapes. Twelve or so artists were asked to create a setting through which model trains would travel. Some made settings very similar to traditional model train settings (trees and mountains), but with twists. Others made settings nothing at all like a traditional one. There was a little boy there, about five years old. I'm guessing that his mother fed him cocaine for breakfast, what with the way he was bouncing off the walls. The moment we approached the setting he was looking at, he started to break it all down. "See the train is coming it's a freighter it goes past this rock and the rock almost falls on it and if you push this button the chair rocks and..." So on. At one point he turned to us and said, "This isn't as boring as I thought it would be!" which cracked me up.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


So I didn't go to Rhinebeck. More like I couldn't afford to go and my husband was afraid to send me there with a credit card.

But now everyone is posting about the fabulous time they had, and the parties, and the yarn, and the sheep shearing, and the... so on. Mini went. Yarn harlot went. Knitfreak went. And of course Casey and Jess went and had a whole Ravelry party, which makes my heart sad. I want one of those little buttons with my username on it!!!

Dear Reader

The following question was posed by a loyal reader, who writes from the way over in Danvers, MA:

Q: Hey lady, how's the bathroom?

A: Glad you asked. My in-laws are visiting for the week, and have come prepared to work! Patrick and his dad have been working all day at replacing the door's frame. Then they're doing the electrical work necessary to install sconces over the soon-to-exist mirror. As the bathroom is very small, having even just the two of them in there at the same time is a squeeze. So my mother-in-law and I have been painting trimwork in the basement, doing laundry and fixing curtains.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

2nd One

I finished another last night in a couple of hours. I moved up to a bulky-weight yarn and size 10.5 needles, so it went much faster than the first. It's hard to tell, but the two browns in this one have strands of green running through them. The fit is a little tight, so I'll have to cast-on a few more stitches if I do this again.

Friday, October 19, 2007

I love it!

It's official--I love it. It is so soft and warm. And check out the pics. It fits perfectly around my updo! I'm going to build up a pile of them. The colors in these pics are much more accurate than my earlier post.


Finally! Proof that I do in fact knit. Here's my Calorimetry, a type of headband-earwarmer for the winter. I'm holding two strands of sport-weight alpaca together throughout. What you see here is what I did yesterday, so I expect to finish it tonight.

If I like how it looks on me, I might make a whole wardrobe of them. I like the idea of it because I often wear my hair in a ponytail or twisted up in a clip, and it's hard/uncomfortable to wear a hat. Especially the clip--I have to undo my hair to wear the hat, then twist my hair back up when I get to where I'm going. I'm hoping this Cali is the solution to my problems.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Big Let Down

Patrick and I ordered this movie off of Netflix. We had very, very high hopes. In fact, we were thinking that this might be our Christmas gift du-year. We were wrong.

A while back we rented RIZE, which was pretty incredible. If you're not sure what krumpin' is, RIZE is a good intro, though perhaps skewed toward Tommy the Clown (isn't this a strange post?).

So when I saw this on Netflix, and saw that it had both Shabba Doo (Ozone from Breakin', the best movie ever) and Todd Bridges (Willis from Diff'rent Strokes) I was like, "Add!"

Here's a quote from a review I found on IMDB:

The Bridges/ Shabba Doo trainwreck entitled 'breakin vs krumpin' set sail to
hopefully get peoples interest in the clashing battle between a fairly old hip
hop style of dance VERSUS the new leaders of the proposed future of hip hop
dance. Todd ' WIllis ' Bridges takes the 5 pioneers of Krump under his wing,
while SHabba Doo lofts out to search for lionhearted BBOYs in Socal. this is the
tip of the iceberg, and the beginning of a long end.

My only contention with this quote is the reference to the "long end." More like long beginning. It's almost and hour before the battle starts. The sound quality on this thing is so bad that I could hardly understand what anyone was saying during that hour. The camera work was awful and didn't really let you see the actual dancing.

And in the end, there's no question in my mind that krumpin' won. These krumpers were just crazy, had amazing energy and emotion and totally used the space. The bboys come out all on-beat, their choreographed routines look quaint by comparison and they don't have any emotion at all. And their guy Fire has one trick--he dances inside of his shirt. That's right, he pulls his arms into his shirt and does all of his poppin' in there. WTF?

The biggest let downs are that Shabba Doo doesn't dance at all, and Todd Bridges doesn't box with Vanilla Ice even once.

Monday, October 15, 2007


This year I'm taking the lead on the Window Arts Malden project. We've formed a group called Malden Arts, which will organize multiple arts-related events in Malden throughout the year. Window Arts Malden will be one of them. The other one, Art Everywhere, will arrange for long-term, site-specific installations in vacant storefronts.

All of this is funded by a combination of grants, sponsors and in-kind donations. Today was the deadline for the grant application, so I've been busy all day putting that together. I just got back from sliding it under the door of the Malden Cultural Council--huzzah!

And now I'm off to knitting. A great way to end a tense day.

Topsfield Fair--Take Two

Check it out: video of the Jordan Knight concert that sent Stef into a fit of baby-shaking!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

I am knitting

To those of you who read this because it professes to have something to do with knitting:

I am knitting. I just can't post about it because I'm working on holiday gifts, and potential recipients read this blog. I wish I could show off my progress, and the lovely yarns I'm using, but I can't. Soon I will make a non-gift, and then I will post pictures and details. Promise.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


My SnB buddy, CCR over at Knit Read Cats Hockey, recently posted about spending her birthday weekend at an Apple Festival (happy birthday CCR!). I love local fairs. Not so much the carnivals that pop up with rides and impossible games, but rather the ones put on by communities, with stands of food and goodies set up by the local church, music and dancing on the main stage. You know the kind.

Last month, Patrick and I went camping in north/central MA, near Amherst. I discovered that I really like Fall camping--less bugs, not so sweaty, true appreciation of the campfire.

While in the area, we went to the North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival.

This sign was hanging over the road as you approached. How sweet!

What a great festival! Lots and lots of local crafts, farmers selling more varieties of garlic than I knew existed, and yummy food.

There was an unexpected aspect to the fair: a "Green and Clean" mission statement. There were compost bins set up for glass/cans, paper, and food (for composting). Most of the silverware given out at the food stands were compostable (I believe they were corn products). And! The electronics for the stages were powered by big solar panels.

And I love their tagline: "The festival that stinks!"

Here I am, kickin' it with Garlic Man.

Bathroom Days

With Patrick's parents coming to visit us in two weeks, we're working hard to get the bathroom finished. The last time we spent time on the bathroom project was...let's see...well, it was the last time they were here. That was for our wedding in May of '06. When they got here we still hadn't reconnected the toilet and sink, which we took out to lay the tile floor. As Patrick's mom said, "You really do need a toilet..."

So we're putting up the last of the wainscoting. Then we apply drywall above that, trim pieces, paint, hang mirror and medicine cabinet and reattach the radiator. Easy, right? We'll see.
The bathroom is so small, I had to stand in the tub to take these. Now that I look at them, I can't believe how awful the room looks. After more than a year of living with it, I got desensitized, you know?

Monday, October 08, 2007

Coolest Degree Ever!

I've never even dared to look into Second Life. It's a "3-D online digital world imagined and created by its residents."

I tend to get sucked into things like that. Anything that requires building profiles, following links to other people's stuff, investigating every corner of a game or site. I am one of those people who's real life would come to a stand-still because my Second Life has taken over.

The other day I was reading the forums on Ravelry. Someone posted that they wouldn't be able to make it to their knitting group that night because of her class at Harvard Extension. I followed the link she provided, and was struck:

<--"Berkman Island"

Here's the line that really grabbed me:

After an initial segment of the course where we introduce you to your
second life, we'll examine models for virtual world law and government,
economics and business, cultural norms, art, education and activism.

I am so fascinated by this idea! Not of the game itself so much, but looking behind the game at how the created society works. And then the fact that half of the classes take place in the game--I love it!

However, I hate to join classes late, and I'm not into the option of attending the Second Life classes, as what I'm really interested in is the stuff that will happen when the course members discuss the game amongst themselves. And unfortunately, the professor is finishing up her Ph.D. and then leaving Harvard, so this class won't be offered again! :-(

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Topsfield Fair

This past Wednesday I went to Topsfield Fair with Traci, Stef and their two little ones, F and S. I love the Topsfield Fair! I love thinking about the farmers growing their perfect zucchinis, the bakers making their perfect pie crusts. I love looking at the animals (even though I looked, I couldn't find any miniature donkeys, which made me sad. And I love eating fried dough!

The kids looked super-cute, especially Fisher, who was dressed as a proper farmer in jeans and an orange flannel shirt. We checked out the Arts & Crafts hall, where I hunted down Knitfreak's ribbon-winning creations.

We also went to the Rabbit hall, which I love. The kids loved looking at the rabbits. They have a spinner there who spins angora straight from the live rabbit sitting on her lap. I bought a skein of handspun from her, which I can't really talk about right now because I might use it for a secret project, and I don't know who reads this blog!

After we ate lunch, Stef went to the ladies' room, and Traci and I stayed with the strollers. A familiar song was playing in the background--eventually I identified it as Step by Step, by New Kids on the Block. I thought, "This is weird, why are they playing this?" Then, my eyes opened wide and I asked Traci, "Do you think the New Kids are here?!?" Traci said that Donnie Wahlberg is way to famous to be at the Topsfield Fair. I said, "Well, I'm going to check. Watch these kids!!!"

I ran towards the stage. Guess what I saw? Scroll down...

I guess Jordan Knight isn't too famous to be at the Topsfield Fair. So I ran up to the stage--that's right, I ran right up to the stage--and started snapping pictures.

Then I ran back to Traci and Stef and told them what was going on. Stef was sooooo excited! So we ran over with the strollers and hooted for Right Stuff. He ignored us. We danced. He claimed to have an injured foot and excused himself from dancing (?!?). At one point, Stef was so excited, she held her baby up in the air and shook A at Jordan. I'm not sure what she meant by that.

During this picture Jordan was singing I'll Be Loving You (awww).

When I was 12 or 13, my first concert ever was New Kids on the Block at Foxboro Stadium. Our seats were waaaaay far away from the stage, and you couldn't actually hear anything because of the tens of thousands of girls on siren mode (myself included). So even though this is almost two decades later, and I haven't listened to any New Kids in almost as long, it was kind of a thrill to be so close to the stage. And Jordan looks hot!

Well, after that, the rest of the Fair was pretty tame. But I've learned my lesson--next year, check ahead to see who's performing. I'm rooting for Bel Biv DeVoe.