Saturday, January 26, 2008

Unexpected: An Update

So...the good news is that the police found my car. The bad news is that it had been driven into a fence. It's currently undriveable -- the front bumper is dragging on the ground -- but the damage beyond the bumper doesn't seem too extensive. (And so far, my insurance company has been awesome. We'll see how it goes once they actually have to start paying for things.) I'm upset that some other things were stolen -- a book that I received as a gift, and a set of blood-pressure cuffs. I know that it's my own fault for treating the car as a storage-unit-on-wheels, but it still sucks. (And it definitely could be worse -- I am grateful that the car was recovered quickly, and mostly intact, and that my insurance company has been so helpful. Believe me.)

Friday, January 25, 2008


My car is gone. Missing. Stolen. I'm not freaking out or anything -- it's more a state of surreality (is that a word?) with maybe a touch of denial. Mostly I'm upset because it means that I'll have to miss the dog parade on Sunday. (I can take public transportation, but Loki can't.) Everything else in my life -- work, school, gym, grocery, library -- is (relatively) easily accessible on foot or public transportation. I'm grateful for that. This is going to be a hassle no matter what (unless by a miracle-of-miracles it shows up quickly, and in one piece); I can't imagine how tough it would be if I really needed to have a car to get places.

Wish me luck.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

zOMG! She's Wearing Socks!

I don't wear socks. But yes, those are my feet in the picture, covered in socks handmade by me. The socks are wonderfully warm and comfortable to the point that, halfway through the second sock, I tried to figure out a way to wear the sock as I knit it. Unsuccessful, but they knit up so quickly that it really didn't matter. So I've hopped another knitting hurdle, and it feels good. I'm fairly certain that I can squeeze another pair out of the yarn that I bought, and then I'll probably be done with socks for a while. I can see the appeal of them (portability, mostly...although there is that really cool shape-as-you-go, damn, it's turning into a sock!) but I don't think that it's for me. Too much measuring, and at the end of the day, it's a sock. And I don't wear socks.

And this is my current food obsession. Take a piece of "raw" tofu (House brand firm tofu comes pre-cut into four slices per package), and sprinkle with 1-2 chopped green onions. Mix soy sauce with ginger extract (I use about 1 drop of extract to 2 teaspoons soy sauce) and pour over the tofu and green onions. I'm sure that it's an acquired taste but I love it.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Concepting a Sweater, Take 2

One of my earliest knitting projects was June Oshiro's DNA Scarf. I didn't know much about yarn choice at the time -- the scarf curls like crazy and the yarn that I used is entirely, unblockably, acrylic. (The scarf was a gift for my sister. I don't know if she still has it...and I'm afraid to ask, because I'll cry if she says that it's been lost, and beat her up if she says that she gave it away.) The other newbie yarn mistake that I made was in estimating required yardage. Well, OK, that's a lie, because it implies that I attempted to estimate required yardage. What actually happened is that I, terrified that I would run out of yarn in the correct color, bought every ball of yarn that Michael's had. (Again, a lie. I didn't actually buy all of the yarn that they had...just the 11 or so balls in the right color and dyelot.) Which, more or less, brings us to the present day, and my 6 balls of mocha Microspun. (There might actually be more -- I haven't actually plumbed the recesses of the stash cabinet.)

And that Microspun wanted to be a Duchess Raglan, with some Fair Isle detailing at the cuffs and waist. Main color: mocha. Contrast color: dark green. So I found someone destashing on Ravelry, and bought the green yarn. It arrived yesterday. The yarn on the left is what I imagined (it's my stash, leftover from the Odessa of my dreams), and the yarn on the right is what I received. (The top is the mocha.) I don't blame the seller; I blame my hyperactive imagination and desire to own yarn.

So the Fair Isle is out -- too much work for too little contrast between the colors. I may hold the green Microspun together with some dark green laceweight in my stash, and just do a broad (2" or so) stripe at the neck, cuffs, and hips. (And also, I was in a meeting the other day, and I saw "my" Fair Isle pattern on a sweater worn by an unfashionable biostatistician. And it didn't look out of place on said biostatistician. It's a sign.)

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Food In the New Year

Let's get this straight -- these are not resolutions. I have a notoriously poor track record with keeping resolutions. Instead, they are techniques and ingredients upon which I intend to focus in 2008.

1) Wine. I don't like wine. But it's not easy to get good beer everywhere, and I am now at an age where I am not allowed to make faces at the dinner table just because wine is gross I don't like something.

Step 1: Stop saying wine is gross.
Step 2: Drink more wine. (I bought a bottle that had a nice description...we'll see how it tastes. Hopefully not gross.)

2) Tea. I dislike tea less than I dislike wine. I like red tea and ginger tea and lemon tea and sugarysugarysugary chai. I do not like green tea or black tea or that weird tea in Chinese restaurants that smells like chrysanthemums.
Step 1: Drink more tea. I have over 100 red tea bags (mum rules, she mailed me some from home) and lots of ginger and lemons, and now I have this awesome stuff to make my own chai. (And I even have black tea that my friends gave me -- it makes better chai than red tea, sorry to say.)
Step 2: Buy a tea ball. The current method of straining with a colander means that things spill I use more tea, but I don't drink more tea.

3) Chile peppers. Not the best food for a cook who doesn't measure. Also, chile peppers can make your hands tingle. When it happened to me (starting a few hours after I'd cooked) I was pretty convinced that I was dying of some weird rare neurological disease.
Step 1: Buy chile peppers.
Step 2: Use frequently and sparingly.

4) Pickled and fermented foods. I already like miso and tempeh and soy sauce and dill pickles and olives. I'd like to try cooking with kimchi and natto and different Indian pickles.

5) Intentional cooking. It's not like I just happen to trip over the stove and **Poof!** there's food. It's more that I rarely if ever plan ahead. So this year I'll make a weekly meal plan stop buying food just because it's inexpensive use my slow cooker and pressure cooker more often, make big batches of food and freeze leftovers, and try to do some prepwork/precooking on weekends.

Happy cooking and happy 2008!