Tuesday, September 23, 2008


What is a Rubberswap? Well, there are a group of Ravelers known as Rubberneckers and we are having a swap. You were encouraged to utilize a theme regarding something from the group discussions. So, I got my package today (and yes, it does appear that my mail carrier really likes me this week).
Rubberswap package
Contents are:
2 Alaskan Chocolate bars
2 skeins of Hacho
2 skeins of Debbie Bliss Donegal Aran Tweed
1 skein of Blebbie Diss Kashmerino(that's what the label says) that warns it may contain animal fibers. And that the yarn contains two ends.
Alaskan Blueberry Herbal Tea that made the whole package smell yummy.
And a Sooper Excloosive Pattern that's so exclusive I can't even tell you what it is. (It might be something like Habitat, but don't tell anyone.)
So, thanks snowmagnolia!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Summer's (Almost) Over

My final Summer of Yarn swap package arrived.
It includes:
Two Skeins of DiVe Teseo yarn in sand.
4 adorable magnets
Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat, Pray, Love
A tin of orange pastilles
A little garden gnome
Vanilla dinner lights.
Thanks so much to Britnlind!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Please Don't Send me Threats

I have a couple people in my circle who are fans of the chain emails. I have worked very hard to set myself up as someone who sends annoying responses and should therefore be removed from the list. I have no problem with cute stories or a joke or two. (I did however send a gentle reminder to someone who sent me the same joke twice.)
However, I object to the following:
1. The untrue. Look, we have all fallen victim to one or two of these. But if you are net savvy enough to open an email, you are net savvy enough to do some checking. And if you don't know how or can't be bothered, then don't send it. Please. The fact that your bestest friend sent it does not do anything to make it more true.
2. The political. Last election year I got slanted crap from people on both sides of the spectrum. Here's the thing, either I agree with you politically, in which case email persuasion is unnecessary or I don't and you have pissed me off. And I have yet to see a well reasoned political chain letter. They may well exist, but please err on the side of caution and leave me off your list.
3. The religious. It works similarly to the above. If I believe what you do religiously, then I might appreciate a cute anecdote. But chances are, you don't actually know what I believe religiously. Now I say this not because my ideas are so fabulous and complex, but simply because most of us don't have deep theological discussions about out religious views. Why that wall breaks down when it comes to email I don't know. Chalice Chick had asked if anyone had any great suggestions for this when she was getting them from co-workers. The general consensus seemed to be that the delicate nature of the subject meant there was a greater chance of offending someone by trying to explain why you didn't want such emails and it was easier to delete them. But, please, save your friends and co-workers from having to have these discussions by not sending the emails.
4. The threatening. Now, I am being a tad facetious here, but whether they are little wee fairies that threaten to harm those who don't pass them on to exactly ten people or the various scare mails (this is the new way the crazies will kill you - watch out for parking lots) or combinations thereof - why? Why send this? If you like the wee fairy, it takes seconds to remove the text that threatens your friends. (And really, why would you send threats to people you say are friends?) And as for the scare mails - let me live in ignorance please.
So, what spawned the rant? I got an email listing people who made fun of God and/or Jesus and died. It also told me that I had to pass it on to get my miracle. I can't decide if the spirit of the email is intended to cement my righteousness for not mocking God or shame and scare me should I have been mocking God or to convert me so that I can escape untimely death. I understand that some people are superstitious and certainly I want my friends to have miracles, but I am so flabbergasted that this would be sent to me. After some time I have calmed down a bit, but I still am at a loss. At this point just as much of my frustration is wrapped up in that fact that I can't think of anything I could say about this that might not result in hurt on the part of the sender. And yet, I really never want to receive anything like this again.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

If It Were Up to Me

If it were up to me, metro stations would only be allowed a maximum of two names. First of all, all you folks out there lobbying to tack this, that and the other on to a metro name are kidding yourselves. Other than the poor metro train operators, no one is using the entire name of the station as they chat about getting off at U Street or Archives. In this day and age when people are abbreviating one syllable words, I have no idea why you think a long station name makes sense.
Secondly, I think we don't give people enough credit. If I want to go somewhere and the website or guidebook tells me to go to this stop, I am going to go to that stop. I am not going to say, "Gosh, that can't be the right stop, it's not called [place I want to visit]." As an example, the Zoo is between two metro stops. One stop has the zoo in the station name (Woodley Park - Zoo). However, a lot of people have figured out that the nice downhill walk from Cleveland Park is preferable. In fact, the station manager has posted signs about how to walk to the zoo, since enough people show up at Cleveland Park who are headed there.
In many cases the add-on names are misleading. My personal favorite is West Falls Church-VT/UVA. Now, having been the designated ride for someone back visiting from Virginia Tech, I actually understand what the designation means. However, doesn't that naming seem to imply that one can get to UVA and Virginia Tech via metro? Actually at specified times there is a bus that goes to both campuses (which are each several hours away).
But it's not just the implication that all these things are right at the top of the escalator that bugs me. After all Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter refers entirely to things that are visible from the top of the escalator, but it is still crazy long. (They actually abbreviate it on the metro map.)
So - stop with the long names.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

If You Like Sand in Your Prayers

As a young adult who is an active in her spiritual community, I applaud any effort to try and think outside the box, and make participating in a spiritual community a little easier. And yet, I find myself a little flummoxed by the idea in Italy of an inflatable church.
Yes, some lucky beaches in Italy are getting inflatable Catholic churches where attendees can take a moment out of swimming and sunbathing, to pray or confess their sins.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Superficial Observations Again

So...I think, in addition to the "I'm so-and-so and I approved this message" bit, if it's a negative ad, the candidate should have to appear on screen (live or staged photo) with their tongue sticking out. None of this trying to look all serious and thoughtful while you trash your opponent.

No Large Groups Please

I am often astounded at the response that knitters sometimes* receive when attempting to use a a place a a regular meeting place. The two knitting groups I attend regularly have received responses including bad service (which I recognize is not a knitter problem, but I would hope that regular customers would get slightly better treatment), having the lights dimmed to about cave level, and actually being told to leave since they wanted to change the atmosphere. (In that scenario we were told we could come right back in, but they wanted us to "re-make the decision to be there." Guess what decision we made?)
Now I want to stress, in all of these scenarios we had all ordered and/or purchased food and/or drinks, so we were not just taking up space. And in all scenarios, the place was not packed and there were not others looking for places to sit.
Well, I am here to tell you, that this is not limited to knitters. I also am a member of a women's club that meets about monthly for girl's night dinners and other fun events. About a year ago, we had a gathering at Oya during restaurant week. There were about twenty five women in attendance. It was my first Oya experience, and it was awesome. The food was good, their service was good, and they set aside the large table for us, so we could all be seated together.
I have been to Oya since and had great experiences.
Our club met at Oya again recently, and the first sign of trouble came several weeks prior when the organizers called to make the reservation and were told that large parties could only make a reservation if they agreed to do a private menu that would come to about $50 per head. (Oya offers a standard prixe fixe menu that offers three courses for $28.) Otherwise the largest reservation accommodated would be six.
Now, I respect any restaurants ability to make their policy, but six? Really? What if your family is dining together and you have more than three siblings? Or your siblings have spouses? Again, I don't own to wish to own a restaurant, but it seems to me that eliminating yourself as a special occasion restaurant is, well, limiting.
So, the organizers made four reservations of six, and were assured that attempts would be made for the group to sit together.
When we were seated one table was over near the large table (which sat empty the whole evening). The table I was at (which was for four, not six) was about three tables back from that one and perpendicular to the round table that another six were at (we were close enough to see each other but not to actually converse across the aisle). Then they had what they called the 'overflow table' for the remaining two folks.
When our table discussed the fact that not only was the large table empty but there were several tables near the first table that were empty that they could have seated us at in an attempt to keep us in the same section, the host appeared magically to tell us that they had a large party who had cancelled. And, while it was a little creepy how he appeared, I understand, however, if they had cancelled, I don't understand why we weren't seated there.
Now I do want to say that the food was fabulous, our server was great. But it does seem that Oya doesn't wish to have large parties, so it may not be a good place for our club to eat anymore.

*I am also aware of several places that have been extremely welcoming to knitters - Adega and the Saloon, come to mind.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Starbucks and Yarn Swap

I got my package!
Starbucks and yarn goodies
It includes:
A gorgeous bag knit and felted by the lovely Catherine, known on Ravelry as cm6321.
A Starbucks gift card.
And three yummy balls of Sublime Soya Cotton dk in Ginseng and Indigo.
Thanks, Catherine.

Dear Folks #17

Dear Men Who Wish to Attract Women via the Internet,
Don't lie. Sure, in dating people tend to reveal layers slowly. However, dating profiles establish some basic facts. Note the use of the word facts. So if you are separated but check the divorced box, you are not close enough. If you have kids, but your ex looks after them, it is not cute to check childless. And if you are 45 but select 39 as your age, no matter how young you look, it is still lying. Thanks for playing, and best of luck,
Doesn't Understand the Appeal of Setting Yourself up for Failure

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Food Meme

A fellow Cherry sent me to this here.
Bold what you have eaten, cross out what you would not consider eating.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
.6. Black pudding- I have had white pudding and that is as far as I will go.
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush

11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries

23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava

30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl-I don't like shellfish. I know I checked off oysters, but that's partly how I know.
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac
with a fat cigar - asthma, no cigars for me.
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo

40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects-not intentionally
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more-I don't like whisky, so the expensive stuff is wasted on me.
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone-Shell thingies again
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini-not a fan of gin either
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores

62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin - not sure, since it's apparently in some medicines and toothpastes
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
-once was more than enough however.
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini

73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail-More shells
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini

81. Tom yum - I wonder if this is as good as Tom Kha soup...
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano

96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee-no coffee for me
100. Snake

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

7 Things: Jury Duty

My jury duty experience is limited to DC and once in Maryland (where I was never even empaneled).
1. I realized as I arrived for jury duty, that while I had read my summons, I had made a number of assumptions about the room based on my last time serving, and had not allowed for the possibility that the room had moved or any such things. As it turns out, that was not a concern, the room is in the same place. The business center is still tiny.
2. One thing that did change, there is now wi-fi. Woot!
3. They are however still showing the same fuzzy how to be a juror video hosted by Renee Poussaint, from back when she was a local anchor. (I say this with certainty since she still was a local anchor back when I first saw the video.)
4. I clearly don't know everyone's reason for being in a courthouse today, but I found the varying styles of dress interesting. (The jury summons does specify that appropriate dress is required. I have no idea if others involved in cases are given similar instructions.) In particular I saw several pairs of raggedy shorts, quite a few jeans, and one bare (and adorned) midriff.
5. I was asked to my job title on the jury survey. Apparently my use of the word consultant was entered into the system as construction, which I found quite a deviation from benefits, until I figured out how the mix-up occurred.
6. Jury duty always reminds me that working downtown must be so cool. Someday I will make that happen for me. (I did have one job where the office was downtown, but I was a contractor who worked primarily at other locations. Interestingly enough, part of that office is now a bar.
7. I find the selection process fascinating, in part because you, as a prospective juror, only get to see part of it, not knowing what conversations the lawyers and judge are having about you or others. I have been on a number of panels, in my time, both for civil and criminal cases. Unsurprisingly, criminal panels take longer as the vetting is more involved.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Water, Water

There is an interesting synergy in that yesterday my church held their water communion, as water, in the form of Gustav is working to demonstrate it's power on the barely recovering Gulf Coast. Since several congregation members had been to assist in the New Orleans rebuild in June, there was concern that the work they had done would be undone, setting the residents they were trying to assist further back. My hopes are that the damage to people and things (including the still under construction levees) is minimal.