Sunday, August 31, 2008

Superficial Observations

Okay, I know I keep saying I don't want to talk about politics, but I just wanted to make a note that on the one side we have Biden, from the smallest state and on the other side we have Palin, from the largest state. I'm sure there are other fun contrasts (in addition to their genders, which are also in contrast), but that's really all I wanted to share right now.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Panda Friday

As we head into a long weekend which I will follow up with jury duty (so Tuesday I will either have lots to say or nothing, hard to say,) I leave Tai-Shan, resident 'baby' panda at the National Zoo, taken April 2007, napping in a tree. I totally wish I could do this. (Without worrying I would roll over and fall out.)
And more Tai-Shan

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Authors and Blogs

Jennifer Crusie posted about some potential issues with author blogging, and on the author/reader relationship.
I've talked about this before, but, first I like and enjoy blogs (particularly author and book blogs) but I think it makes no sense if it isn't something that works for you.
As a reader, I have discovered new authors first through their blogs. I have also, through blogs and the internet at large, learned about various forms of bad author behavior. As of now, there are quite a few authors for whom I went from blog reader to book reader. So far, I have not stopped reading anyone solely on the basis of their internet behavior. (Unless you count plagiarism, but I don't count that as internet behavior, that's general bad behavior.)
Let's face it, there's a lot of an author in any story, so reading books you do feel a certain closeness with the author. Blogging can enhance that, as can other internetty gathering places. But, I think it ends up being like a lot of stuff. Sure it can be upsetting to learn that an actor or an author is not quite the person you built up in your head, should things go badly. But, I can disagree with something a person did and still think they write, act or sing beautifully. If they were on the bubble for me anyway, I may take my time getting to the bookstore. But, so far, my stopping reading choices have been made by the books, not by the people behind them*.

*Except for plaigiarism, but I still think that's a book issue at heart, even though it is perpetrated by a person.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Knitting Olympics

My Knitting Olympics strategy unfolded like this. I am such a flutterby when it comes to projects, that I hated to try and determine a specific project the I would feel like knitting a few months later. After all if I really loved the project, wouldn't I want to knit it right now? So, I picked the shawl relay because I figured that I could accomplish it in the allotted time, and could reasonably guarantee that I would be willing to knit a large rectangle with some sort of pattern. I also signed up for WIP Wrestling because I knew the likelihood was that I would need a little something else to distract me, so I thought if I made it part of my schedule that would cut down on the guilt.
And then I realized that the Knitting Olympics would start a day before a knitting retreat my knit group was participating in, which meant I was already planning to make a shawl - the Woodland Shawl. Sort of serendipitous. (It also alleviated my half-hearted thought that I should knit something Chinese, or in some way referential.)
So, then there was yarn. We had originally talked about using something like Schaefer Heather yarn, but then I started to panic. What made me think doing a stole on sock weight yarn was reasonable. Even though this was smaller than the Parthenope, that took longer. The Lili-uo shawl took longer. Was I setting myself up for failure? I started wondering what larger weight yarns I might have on hand. And then, in San Francisco I found the gorgeous Ming yarn. (See? Ming! That's Chinese! And it has silk which China is known for.)
And I had the Prismatic Scarf which was turning out to be an excellent all-my-other-knitting- makes-me-think kind of project. (Also a silk blend, since I was using Manos silk blend, so woot!)
So, I was all set. I cast on and knit four rows during the opening ceremonies of the Woodland Shawl, before returning to the scarf.
I worked on the shawl much of the weekend and was making great progress. In fact I was starting to think it might be finished really soon. And hey, I might even have time to finish up a second WIP or something, since the scarf was going well too.
Woodland Shawl - In Progress
And then, Wednesday night, after the yarn traveled to knit night, tragedy struck. No more shawl. I - just - oh, it was terrible.
I continued working on the scarf and finished that up Friday.
Prismatic Scarf 1
And faced the inevitable, and recast on for the Woodland Shawl. This time, I used Brooks Farm Willow (a wool/bamboo blend,no silk, but hey, China is known for bamboo too!). And I used 10.5's. (I had done Knitty math to determine repeats and needle size and 10.5 was working well, but I was unable to find any other 10.5's, so made do with a 10. It still works, and this yarn has a higher wool content.)
Woodsy Shawl 1
And I finished. So, phew!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Olympics, Again

Great Non-athletic moments:
Michael Phelps telling a fellow swimmer he couldn't find his mom in the crowd. (She stood up and waved.)
Dara Torres letting everyone know that a fellow swimmer had ripped her suit and would be out in just a minute.
Michael Spearman and Usain Bolt teasing each other in the tunnel.
One American runner (who's name I have forgotten - sorry) pausing her interview, to congratulate a fellow runner.

Sports I was Unaware (Until Now) were Olympic Sports
ETA: Beck is right, it's Lolo Jones.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Dear Folks #16

Dear Beach Volleyball,
I want to apologize a little. I never outright or publicly disparaged you, but I secretly thought you were not a proper sport. Oh sure, it takes mental and physical agility to play the game (or so I imagine, I think the last time I played volleyball involved a high school gym). But, I was finding it difficult to take seriously a game that gets played in bathing suits. (Yes, I also am working on water polo acceptance. Also, while we're being parenthetical, why do the women play volleyball in bikinis and the men play in clothes? What's up with that?)
But I have long said, that one of my issues with baseball is that it doesn't get played in the rain, thereby classifying it - according to my special rating system - as a wimpy sport. And while this rating system had not made an official ruling on games played in the sand, it was leaning towards, if not wimpy, at least, less serious, even though I know that sand actually makes
it more difficult.
But, the matches continued in the rain, coupled with the sheer number of matches two people (with no substitutes), I have come to the conclusion that beach volleyball is definitely not a wimpy sport. And while it won't get the full contact serious rating, still, you have to be pretty freaking tough. So, congratulations.
(I know you were worried.)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Family Isn't Exotic

Okay, I was trying to stay away from the dreaded P-word. No, politics I mean. But, here I go.
First, a disclaimer, I am really grateful that I am not a radio or television commentator. Because stick a microphone in front of me and I am sure I would say stuff that people would pick apart. However, I think we can agree that Cokie Roberts is an experienced commentator, and while that makes her no less prone to saying something that didn't come out quite like she intended, I feel that she knows what she is getting into.
So, Cokie Roberts was talking about Barack Obama's visit to Hawai'i to see his grandmother. She said, "I know that he is from Hawaii, he grew up there, his grandmother lives there, but he has made such a point about how he is from Kansas, you know, the boy from Kansas and Kenya, and it makes him seem a little bit more exotic than perhaps he would want to come across as at
this stage in the presidential campaign." Now, my second disclaimer is that I happen to be someone who has family in Hawai'i, so I confess, it seems quite normal to me. But I understand that with the economy the way it is, and with plane tickets (and airlines) being what they are, that Hawai'i is not a place that everyone has had the good fortune to visit. (Although, as Jon Carroll pointed out, there are quite a few people for whom it is the state next door.)
So, I imagine that possibly what Roberts was trying to say is it seems exotic in the sense of extravagant. Exotic in the sense of wow, my life doesn't quite shake out like that.
But, of course, people, like me who have family in Hawai'i feel like visiting your family is not such a strange or exotic thing. And while I live inside the Beltway, as it were, and therefore resist the idea of a Beltway mentality, I have to say the claim that Jon Carroll and others have made about this statement seems pretty founded to me.
First, there's that whole thing that I think people in Kansas (and other places) are probably a little tired of being told they can't understand stuff. I'm sure people in Kansas (not picking on you guys) understand that visiting family is, you know, normal. And while we all might wish our family lived somewhere that was also a hot vacation destination, it's still family.
And then there is the unfortunate use of the word exotic. Now, I can't speak for Roberts, but I imagine at the time the words left her mouth she didn't see the unfortunate multiple meanings of that little word. Because exotic can also mean foreign. And Hawai'i is a state full of native Hawaiians as well as Pacific Islanders and those of Asian descent. So, it starts to sound like she's implying that Hawai'i was an unfortunate place for Obama's grandmother to be, because of the
proportionately smaller amount of white people. Again, I don't think that's what she intended, but again it made the statement all that more unfortunate.
I have been to Hawai'i quite a few times, and sure I've seen many of the sights there. I have also attended birthday parties and anniversary parties and holiday dinners and funerals. You know, family stuff. Because Hawai'i is a place that over six generations of my family have lived. It is the place that my father grew up and the place where we spread his ashes. It is the place that many of my aunts, uncles and cousins live. And it is the place that my grandmother lives.

Hat tip to the Rage Diaries on this.

Friday, August 15, 2008

7 Things: The Olympics Make Me Wonder

1. The men's diving suits are very small. Do they ever fall off? Don't get me wrong, I am not wishing for this per se, it just seems like when you dive from a really tall place, this would be a concern. After all, my dad lost his wedding ring diving off a rock. Sure, it was an ocean, not a pool, but still.
2. With all the technology out there, is there a reason all the bikinis, leotards and suits for women (other than the full body ones) seem to fall mid-bun, rather than offering full coverage. And kudos to all these athletes for not constantly picking at them, as I would be. (This is, of course, not the only thing holding me back from being an Olympic athlete. Or any kind of athlete.)
3. I read up on it, but I'm still not sure it makes more sense for baseball and softball to be out of the Olympic games (at least after Beijing, for now) and table tennis to still be there. But that may be my American-ness coming to the forefront there.
4. I still subscribe to the theory that anyone who just lost (and in the Olympics we are going to call not medaling losing) should not have to talk into a microphone for at least thirty minutes. (I also wish we could employ this in other sports too.)
5. I also think we should employ the rules of the courtroom, as I have learned from my TV watching, where leading questions can not be asked. For example, "So, having achieved the goal that you worked on for the last eight years, how happy are you?" Or, "How much of a blow was it to discover that after all your hard work, that you won't be getting a medal today? Do you feel you've let down your country?"
6. Aren't we all grateful that there are no acceptance speeches for medals? Just saying. (I know they get interviewed to death, but still.)
7. With the possible exception of the "Chariots of Fire" theme, I still think "One Moment In Time" remains the best sports song. (As far as inspirational moments, sure, there are plenty of beat heavy songs for the other moments. Although raise your hand if it seems a little weird that they are playing "Get Ready for This" in Beijing? I know it's become the go-to arena song, but I just found it a little strange. Not bad strange, more of a huh.)

Give me one moment in time
When I'm more than I thought I could be
When all of my dreams are a heartbeat away
And the answers are all up to me
Give me one moment in time
When I'm racing with destiny
Then in that one moment of time
I will feel
I will feel eternity

"One Moment in Time" by Albert Hammond and John Bettis

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Books: Magical Books

Dear Fictional Characters,
If someone gives you a magical book that has been passed down for generations, waiting for your appearance, don't wait to read it. I don't care how freaking boring the book may seem. Please read it right away. Or at least skim it. Please work on the assumption that this book contains information you will need. (After all have you ever heard of a scenario in which someone was given a magical book that turned out to just have - say - bread recipes? And if it's just a bread recipe, then go make bread.)
A Concerned Reader

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Summer of Yarn Love Swap Package

SOY Swap Package
Contents include:
An adorable card.
A skein of Manos Silk Blend in a gorgeous colorway.
Two skeins of Cascade in pretty pink.
A bottle of Eucalan. (I love this stuff. In fact, I also take it on vacations, in case you need to throw a shirt or something in the sink for a wash.)
Cat toys. (My cat doesn't know how lucky she is.)
And a Yarn Harlot book! And a green tea sampler. So, thanks so much to my spoiler!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

7 Things: How to Be a Good Passenger

1. If you must wear perfume or cologne or any sort of strong scent, please make sure that only people who are, say, sitting in your lap can smell it. Or stick the stuff in the magical plastic baggie, and apply upon arrival. Don't make the people next to you (and later everyone else, since the air gets recirculated) smell your scent no matter how awesome you are convinced it is.
2. Please remember that the seats are attached. This means if you kick the footplate beneath your seat, your fellow row-mates can feel it. So try not to.
3. Please remember that you will be raising your arms when you stow your bag in the overhead compartment. So, please plan your outfit accordingly, keeping in mind that seated passengers will have their eyes at about waist level when you do this. I, personally, did not need to know that you were, for example wearing playboy bunny boxers. In fact, I really wish I did not know this.
4. Please make sure your headphones do not have a big sound leakage problem. Understandably your volume will be high to drown out the engine and passenger noise, so, try not to add to the noise for the rest of us.
5. Please don't get into line with only part of your party if you are all planning to board the plan together.
6. Please be kind to the flight attendants, and remember, generally they do not make airline policy, they just get to tell you about it.
7.Please remember that we all want to get off the plane. (Really). While I'm sure your need for quickness is very important, if we all disembark row by row, it works quite well. It also prevents me from thinking mean thoughts as you leap over armrests trying to jump a few spaces in the exit line.

Monday, August 11, 2008


Oh yeah, since I just finished updating you on last week, I feel like it's progress for me to be talking about something that started Friday.So, the 2008 Summer Olympics started in Beijing on the date of 08/08/08. (You may have heard.) I am participating in the Knitting Olympics having promised to work on an existing WIP and some sort of shawl. (Yes I do theoretically know which WIP and which shawl, but I reserve the right to be copy as long as I end up to to FO's at the end of this). The reason for two was that, other than a brief period with the Parthenope, knitting monogamy is something I struggle with, so b picking two projects when I just can't freaking look at the main project, I can still knit and not feel like a slacker. At least not a Knitting Olympics Slacker.

But I really wanted to take a moment to talk about China and the Olympics. I visited China in 2004 (I can hardly believe it was so long ago.) It was a fascinating trip in a number of ways and I won't even begin to try and capture it in a blog entry now. But, even then, you could buy Beijing 2008 wares everywhere.

The Olympics are such a fascinating thing for me, who is generally non-athletic. But I still have pursuits that take time, patience, money and energy, for what to others seems a fairly brief return. So, I understand the passion, even if my passion doesn't have me flipping around a mat or jumping over obstacles.
And just because I love it, the athlete's Olympic Oath:
In the name of all the competitors I promise that we shall take part in these Olympic Games, respecting and abiding by the rules which govern them, committing ourselves to a sport without doping and without drugs, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honour of our teams.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Last Sunday

Sunday was supposed to be a laid back day. But then I experienced a failure to check my travel arrangements. I incorrectly remembered my flight departure time (having mentally pushed it back two hours) and I was so sure of my imaginary time that by the time I realized my error, it was no longer physically possible for me to make the flight. I called the airlines, the gentleman told me my best shot was to continue to the airport and throw myself on the mercy of the agent there, who could put me on standby somewhere. Which is what I did. The lovely agent scrolled through my choices, found one with a different connection (but that returned to the same airport - very important - are you listening stupid airline that screwed me over a few years ago?). She grabbed my bag, handed me my boarding pass and told me to run. I managed to make it through security without a diva moment (I am in a hurry guy taking his sweet time getting the laptop into the tray!). And I was not quite the last person to hop onto the plane. It was a middle seat, but I was not in a position to complain. (Although I will have some thoughts on how to be a good passenger later). And I had my books. And a functional ipod. However, the rush and all that had meant I had missed my lunch. Or getting a drink past security. So, it was a really crappy time to discover that in the six days since I had last flown with them, US Airways had started charging money for beverages. All of them. (Yes, they were lovely and accomodating, so I am over it, but really. Thank goodness I had some dried fruit in my bag.)
The changeover in Charlotte went fine, and I did find food. And I made it home to discover that my secret dream for a new suitcase had been answered, sort of. Because, the handle on my suitcase, which usually collapsed with some careful jiggling, had apparently not collapsed or extended somewhere on route. So, the bag was tossed around with the handle extended, and, well, it bent. So that the handle had a perfect forty five degree bend in it. It is now bent and shredded such that the handle is never going to collapse again.
And since I hate to leave things on such a note here are some random observances from the streets (and halls) in San Francisco.
-At one point I surmise I am near some sort of vet or animal kennel because in quick succession I see a woman with a (leashed) cat balancing on her shoulder and another woman with the cat carrier strapped to a shopping cart.
-It was easy to spot the tourists who had assumed that California + summer = hot, because they would be out in their shorts but wearing their matching San Francisco sweatshirts and hats. (To be fair, I read up and still couldn't believe. But I also left the shorts at home.)
-Panhandlers were quite creative with their stories - requesting money for journeys home, for alcohol research and for ransom for the dog. And while I certainly don't know all the circumstances, I did notice that one panhandler who had been seated in a wheelchair left the wheelchair there while he took a break.
-Over by Coit Tower I paused before crossing as an SUV had just pulled up to the roundabout and then paused. Then the windows popped down and three cameras popped out as they all tried to capture the view of the city below. (At that point I felt it was safe to cross (I was not in their picture line).
-I was asked for directions. Sure, it was by someone who was clearly not from the US, but my directions were pretty good. I was, however, unable to tell him where all the good clubs were.
-And at one point I watched three people who were clearly together cross the street. Two of them were wearing I heart NY t-shirts and the third had on a scripty NYC t-shirt. Had we not been going opposite ways I would have loved to ask if they were from there or (more likely) that was their previous spot on vacation.

Food; Chai, fruit and cheese plate, chicken pesto sandwich, smoothie, iced tea.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Last Saturday

Saturday was a little more reasonable. I went to another agent-focused workshop. Then I went to the theft of creative property workshop (moderated by Smart Bitch Sarah, and featuring Nora Roberts, Dear Author's Jane Litte and John Barrie from It was really interesting to hear from each of the panelists Nora spoke first and promised to come after folks who stole her work and passed it off as their own like the wrath of freaking god. Jane spoke about the difference and overlap between copyright infringement and plaigarism, and the need for a cultural shift to get people to realize that this isn't a little boo-boo (although she said it more eloquently than that). And Barrie spoke about how the concept behind came to be and working towards that shift in academia.
Afterwords, I ran off to find lunch and returned to camp out a bit in Starbucks adjacent place with yarnagogo and various other cool peeps. I ended up hitting some of the signings and picked up some stuff for people. I also shipped a box home and can I tell you - they had to cut down the box because I didn't have enough books to fill it. I could have gotten more.
(Actually I did, but I had brought a big purse so that I could avoid additional luggage charges.)
I grabbed dinner at a little cafe and was thrilled to discover something called the London Fog Latte which is a Latte made with Earl Grey. Wonderful.
I then headed back to the hotel to rest up and change for the awards ceremony. I ran into some other folks headed that way and we shared a cab (cute shoes) to SFM. I glommed onto Melthegreatest who had stationed herself on a chair in the hallway to avoid the pre-door-opening line, and get a good chance at pictures of the processing folks.
The awards happened, where apparently having been in a workshop with me or my having read your book was a bit of a curse (except for honorary cherry Anne Stuart and Kristan Higgans). It was lovely the number of people who thanked their spouses for supporting them through potentially unlucrative career.
And then there was chocolate and cheese and wine. Yum.

Food: Chai, curry chicken salad, turkey sandwich, London Fog Latte, cheese, crackers, mini eclair, fruit tart, fruit napoleon.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Last Friday

Friday I got up much too early and it's Lisa Gardner's fault because she was having a great workshop where she talked about revision. I started the day with a low grade headache, but thought I could soldier through it, and it seemed to be working as I made my way to the next workshop on the 21st Century Heroine, where I ran into Yarnagogo. Then I was off to a workshop about agents (where I successfully stalked introduced myself to an agent I had targeted). I restrained myself from jigging (or jiggying) on my way to lunch (free books). And about lunch was where my headache decided to speak up. So despite being seated at a fabulous table (including the lovely Melthegreatest), a woman who's husband had sent her a great button after her luggage was misplaced (I have a story and I'm not afraid to pitch it) and the president of the Washington chapter (of which I am not, erm, a member, yet), I was hurting. I made it through the food. And the speechifying began and I snuck out. (Sorry Connie Brockaway, I'm sure you were great.)
I ran into Sandra Kitt in the hallway, and expressed my love. (I am unstoppable like that.) I then texted the friend who had first given me one of her books.
I got some caffeine and stuck around for the Harlequin signing which was, interesting. They were really trying to herd us in a specific route, which I'm sure someone thought would prevent backups or rushes to one author over others. In actual fact it just created one giant jam with unhappy people who couldn't get where they were trying to go. I finally broke ranks, and went to the folks I wanted to see. I'm sure I missed out on discovering some new people, but I'll find them later, it will all work out.
And I headed back to the hotel for some R&R.
I ended up eating in the lounge at the hotel, which was interesting. The food was great (and I was feeling well enough to appreciate it.) I was seated by a window where I had a great view of the hotel across the street. There were two guys, on different floors staring down at the street - for quite some time. There was not a lot to look at. Perhaps it was better than TV. Perhaps they were unaware that their windows were not tinted and they were really visible. But it fascinated me as I wondered.

Food: Chai, salad, rubber chicken, tuna tartare and ratatouille.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Last Thursday

Thursday I had a lazy morning (having checked the schedule, I knew Friday would not be so, so I was taking it where I could.)
I arrived over at SFM later, having hit an alternate cafe place, knowing the hotel one was getting slammed. I wandered, I knit, I played with my Ipod, it was all good. I spotted some pretty felted pins in a gift shop window just outside the hotel, but they didn't open until later. In my wanderings I ran into Yarnagogo and Lala. Lala had to get to work, so Yarnagogo and I went and staked out a table in the hotel atrium cafe.
Then there was lunch (free books), which was okay, and Yarnagogo and I broke out the knitting for the speech. Victoria Alexander was wonderfully entertaining and afterwords it was time to start with the workshops. Yarnagogo and I went to one on pitching and then I went to one by the Buzz Girls, of whom I was not that familiar, but I think I'm a fan now. (And I won the RITA nominated books from Simone Elkeles, so it was all good.)
I ran into famous author Christine Merrill hanging out in the lobby and told her that I had met her at Cherry Con - my you don't know you know me, but you do speech (I'm getting really good at that).
I went to the Red Sage social and got a cupcake and a book out of the deal.
I hung out for a while in the lobby, annoyed Robin D. Owens because I knew I knew her name and couldn't place it (could it be because I read Heartmate. She was very gracious, although she did move shortly after (not that I blame her.) Cherries began gathering in the lobby for the big Cherry dinner at Buca di Beppo. As we were congregating, a lovely woman who was having trouble sorting out the various stimuli in the lobby planted herself amid the group. People asked her name. She seemed confused. (She did give us her name, not that kind of confused.) We asked if she was a cherry - no response. We continued chatting, and she was still there, looking at us. I told her we were all very nice, and we could convert her to cherry-hood. (It's not that hard. There's not even a test.) Around then she decided to wander away from us. People accused me of scaring her.
Dinner was fabulous. Some local cherries had made arrangement for a pre-set meal so that simplified things. And yet, (or perhaps because) the staff was amazingly solicitous of us throughout the evening. We wandered back to SFM for Moonlight Madness where I bought a cute pin. This woman had cut possibly naughty sentences out and put them on pins. Mine says, "It's a little bit scandalous."

Food: Earl Grey, pesto salad, salad, chicken with risotto, cupcake, more salad, pizza, ravioli, fettucine alfredo, pesto salmon and chocolate cake.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Last Wednesday

(Now with pictures!)
Wednesday was the day I switched hotels to the conference approved hotel, although it wasn't the conference hotel. In retrospect I could have just stayed where I was and all that but, the contrast of a busy street overlooking hotel where you step onto the sidewalk into swarms of people to the JW Marriott where once inside you felt you might be in a bubble, was kind of interesting. And considering the mayhem that was the lobby at the San Francisco Marriott (where the RWA conference, plus some management conference, and a good number of airlines crew, as well as some of the union folks, to say nothing of your regular smattering of tourists) - I was quite happy to stay elsewhere. (Yes, I'm sure the rooms at SFM were lovely and tranquil.)
I registered fairly early in the morning (free books) and then stationed myself - knitting visibly - in the Starbucks where I was meeting some fellow Ravelers. My plan worked as Knitterary immediately said, "Are you one of the Ravelers?" and then Yarnagogo and Twistedandwarped arrived too. So, Yarnagogo took us first to Artfibers. You head up a windy staircase, lined with knitting drawings and then - cones and cones of yarn. (If you want smaller amounts, they will wind you a ball. They also ship - which may be very dangerous information.) They also have a whole giant setup for yarn tasting, should you want to swatch up a bit.
So, deciding that special, San Francicso yarn, was just what I needed, I did manage to restrain myself to two cones. (What? There was a lot of pretty and shiny in there.) (PS. Poking around their website, they sell undyed yarn to. You're welcome.)
After that we went to Imaginknit, which had some gorgeous yarns also. I wandered about stroking the pretties until I discovered they had a yarn named after me, it was even spelled correctly, and it was on sale! So, grabbed two balls of that and discovered they had the other yarn named after me, the one that's spelled wrong (Dear Fibre Co, I kid becuase I love.)
This led to quite a discussion with Kurt, who worked there and had even put up a sign declaring the Terra to be his pick. So, I grabbed a skein of that too. And maybe found a skein of Nature Cotton.
Then Yarnagogo took us to the "best burrito place in San Francisco" where we were treated to yummy veggie burritos. After that, we headed back to the SFM.
I dropped my yarn back at my hotel before wandering back for the Literacy signing. Having heard stories in the past, I decided to be in line crazy early. I had narrowed the list down to people I really had to get to, and then bonus people. Some (Nora Roberts, Suzanne Brockmann) either didn't have their newest release at the signing, or I already had it all because I get twitchy, and/or I already had signed books from them. (I did not buy anything released the week prior to the signing, but that was about as restrained as I get, bookwise).
Chatted in line with various folks before they opened up the doors and we swarmed in.
I made a beeline for Marjorie M. Liu such that the poor woman was still seating herself as I rushed up and said something like," Hi! IalreadyreadTheIronHuntanditwasreallygoodandIloveyourblogandnowIneedTheWildRoadandcouldyou-
signitplease?" She did.
I wandered past the Suzanne Brockmann line and talked to the author's mom (who I had met in Atlanta, I'm a little stalker not a big stalker, and I did re-introduce myself.) And I talked to some authors, telling them that I had their books, but was a big fan. They were all very gracious. (In fact Roxanne St. Claire signed a bookmark for me.) I told Anne Stuart I had met her at Cherry Con and she gave me a Dogs and Goddesses bumper sticker. Lisa Gardner's daughter was helping her sign (aw!).
I got the anthology with Cindy Gerard's latest. I got Cindy Dee's latest - a new suspense series (yay!). I fawned politely over Christine Feehan. Some folks who had lines I decided to not pressure whoever was already there talking to them. So, I was pretty restrained on the purchase front (for me) and I was done in a reasonable amount of time.
Food: Chai, Banana bread, Vegetable burrito, jicama salad, chile rellenos, tostadas, strawberry marguerita.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Last Tuesday

Now with pictures!
Tuesday was the day I had planned to real trek all over. So, I did. This is also the part where I discovered that while I knew intellectually that San Francisco had some hills, that really, until you've climbed a few, you have no idea how that changes your perception of the distance. (Especially if on the map it only looked like a couple blocks.) So, I headed north to Nob Hill,
wandered east to Chinatown, where I stopped at the Chinese Cultural Center.
Portsmouth Square
They were doing an exhibit on puzzles that was really interesting, in fact I picked up a ring puzzle with which to torture myself. (So far, I got two rings off, but I have no idea how.)
Then, I decided to go check out the UU congregation, which was in Tenderloin. So, I wandered back that way.
On the way I found a park in the Russian Hill area with a great view, so stopped and took a few pictures.
Across the City
I did not take pictures inside the church, although there was a cool courtyard. There were children playing there, so that seemed like not a good thing for me to be photographing.
UUSF window
I went back downtown to make my genius bar appointment, which was amazingly easy since it is apparently a common glitch with Ipods and PCs that is resolved by plugging it into a Mac. (The genius guy smiled when I said, "So you're telling me I have to make friends with someone with a Mac?" (I do have friends with Macs.)) Anyhoo, all was right with the Ipod, so I then wandered back to the hotel to swap shoes and grab some lunch.
I had planned to head back to the North Beach area for dinner, and had made reservations at a restaurant. On my way up there (oh yeah, hill again), I saw signs for Coit Tower. I still had plenty of time, so I went up that way and again took pictures.
Coit Tower, from the Street
(I did not go up the tower itself - too cheap. Yarn I pay for, views, eh.) I then headed back towards the address I had for the restaurant, but it looked wrong. The street was residential, and while the number in question was lovely, they did not appear to have any signage or indication that they were going to be letting people in to buy food anytime soon.
I tried picking up some errant wi-fi to check my info, but no luck there. (Later I checked a different phone book - different address. Ah well.) I finally decided to walk back down by Washington Square where I had seen food and just eat since my knees and butt were starting to protest all that wandering. I ended up finding a lovely Brasilian-Italian fusion restaurant, so all was not lost. After that, I made my way back to the hotel where, I slept really well that night.

Food: Salad, Chicken salad sandwich, Chai, three cheese ravioli, apple tart.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Last Monday

So, basically, since my internet access was limited last week, this week I am going to tell you all about last week. Lucky you!
So, I think I have previously mentioned my fear of boredom. So, I had charged up my Ipod - freshly loaded with Will Write for Wine Podcasts. I had three knitting projects and three books. I figured that would cover the wait in two airports, any knitting or book ADD, and the travel time, plus any delay time.
Of course, my Ipod didn't want to play. So it froze. Fine. (I did reload, restore and restart, no go.) And of course the first flight (the longer of the two) was full, so while I had the window I had two large men sharing the row with me and one was in a bad mood, because are seats were against the bulkhead, so did not recline. (Everyone was lovely for the duration of the flight, but I would have liked everyone better with the music or the podcasts.
Monday I arrived in the afternoon in San Francisco.
My BART card got jammed in the machine, which was a fun start. (Apparently the airport card readers do that a lot, yay!) Rode in to town which I did not remember from my last trip that you pretty much have to memorize the stops because the speakers in the cars suck and you can't hear what the driver is saying over the sound of the cars, and the signs are little and not lit.
Made it through the throngs of tourists outside the BART station and up to my first hotel - Hotel Union Square. After checking in and stashing my bags I wandered around briefly, and discovered that the Apple store was a mere three blocks away, so I went in and made an appointment for the following day with the genius bar. Then I found some dinner. My mother once told me that she kept a record of the food she ate on her trips and I have to say, that it's fun, so, I'm going to do that here to.
Food: California Tortilla (at the airport in DC), Starbucks (at the airport in Phoenix), and fish tacos (in San Francisco).