Monday, December 29, 2008

Yarn, for a change.

So, I joined a new stash club. (Well, new for me.) Three Irish Girls has a stash club. Each month they have a semi-solid and variegated yarn to choose from. I joined in November and went for the variegated - Petit Fours.
3IG Stash November
For December, I found myself unable to choose just one, so I got both. Cinnamon Spice and Gingerbread.
3IG Stash December
ETA Picture - whoops.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

River Road

Growing up we used River Road a lot. We used it to go to the pool. I later went to a school on River Road, so the spent a lot of time there. One of my first jobs out of college had me traveling along River. And now my church is there.
Growing up, I couldn't figure out why it was called River Road, there were creeks and stuff along the way, but nothing I would call a river. You couldn't see the River from it, the way you can from parts of MacArthur. My mother told me it was because the road followed the river.
And yesterday, they broke into my morning television to show the road had become, well, river-like. A water main break occurred in a hillier section and created what one fireman referred to as the equivalent of class three rapids. Fortunately the incident occurred right near the fire station - and apparently one truck was headed up River at the time - so the rescue personnel was able to get going immediately to rescue nine people who were trapped in their cars.
WJLA had their news helicopter filming so there is footage of the helicopter and boat the personnel employed to assist.
It was fairly amazing to watch.
DCist has the link to some of the footage. And the WaPo has the story also.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Arm Warmers

I tend to go on little project kicks in Winter, which is weird because I tend to decide to knit sweaters in summer, but whatever, it's a hobby and it's supposed to make me happy. And I am working on a sweater, but I have hit the dreaded sleeves.
So, I cast on for what - in retrospect, are much like sleeves. (Yes, I see the irony.)
The yarn is Woolarina, a merino with some silk and cashmere thrown in, that I picked up at the Crafty Bastards fair.
The pattern is the Arrowhead Arm Warmers from Interweave Holiday 2008 issue. If I made them again, I would probably throw in a thumb-hole, but they are lovely as is.
Since I was using a slightly chunkier yarn - I knit it on fours, I cut off some of the space that is supposed to occur at the top, but otherwise left the pattern pretty much as is.
Arm Warmers

Monday, December 22, 2008

Legally Blonde

I love the movie "Legally Blonde". It's one of those things that I watch anytime it's one TV. So, I was intrigued when I heard they were making it into a musical. I watched when MTV aired (a truncated version, but still excellent) of the musical. And I watched the MTV reality show as they searched for a new leading lady. (I am actually a little bitter about how it ended, so we'll move on.) So, when I heard the touring company was headed to DC, you can imagine my excitement.
Tickets went on sale while I was on jury duty, with limited internet access, but fortunately tickets did not immediately sell out. (In fact, for locals, I believe there are still some available.)
My friend and I went last night and it was amazing. The cast was fabulous. And two finalists from the reality show are now part of the touring cast, so it was great to see them. (Rhiannon and Lauren, for my fellow reality junkies.)
And as with everything, it's so much cooler when you're there, rather than watching it on TV.
And, while I feel that the songs grow on you - improve each time you listen - as all good musical numbers should. The one that always cracks me up, remains "There, Right There!", which you can see here.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Soda Adventures, Part 2

So, when last we saw our heroine, I mean, me, I was standing face pressed against the glass of the soda machine that held the Dr. Pepper I craved and yet was stuck on some kind of error.
Okay, not quite, initially I huffed away. The next day, same error. Later that day, I decided, it was a computer, it just needed to be rebooted. So, I pressed cancel, return change, and a bunch of other buttons. The machine was unmoved. And then, it occurred to me to actually pay attention to the kind of error. The error was "Retrieve Soda". So, I decided, someone had not made it all the way through their transaction. So, I tried making a selection. And then I tried opening the fancy compartment the soda gets placed in. No soda. But there was a ticket. Someone airplane stub to be exact. I have no idea how that ended up in there, unless it fluttered out of someone's wallet. I took the stub out and do you know what?
It worked! The error disappeared, and it let me buy my soda. Now, of course my problem is that I keep buying soda. But that sounds like a 2009 kind of problem.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Soda Adventures, Part 1

Once upon a time, I was a soda addict. Dr. Pepper to be exact. They sold it in the soda machine at high school and I used to get one every day. One of my friends from high school and I bonded over getting our daily Dr. Pepper (DDP). I used to keep 2 liter bottles in my room (away from others who might wish to drink them) and take slugs directly from the bottle - even warm.
When I was in Scotland, I gave up soda for Lent* one year, and had to make an exception when I discovered a place that carried Dr. Pepper.
I discovered, once I had my own fridge, that I could not safely keep it in the house, because I would choose Dr. Pepper over all other choices, so forcing myself to leave to go get it was an attempt at control.
And then the building I worked in took it out of the soda machine. And I started thinking that maybe I focused a little too much energy on soda - acquisition and consumption. And that I should focus on other drinks - that while sugary possibly contained some nutritional value. So, I started weaning myself off.
And all was well. Until I went to Salt Lake City this past winter. It's not their fault they're a couple time zones behind. But I turned to the soda to assist with the jetlag.
And like the siren call, it all came back to me. So I gave it up for Lent again this year. And yet, it still calls to me.
So, it is quite rude that the machines in my building have been out of Dr. Pepper. Sold out. For almost a week. And worse, one machine, the glass fronted kind, has been restocked but is broken. So I can see the pretty sodas, hear them calling, but I cannot get them out. Don't these people understand? This is not the time of year to be playing with me like this!

*I know, but I like Lent. So I have appropriated it for myself.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Stupid Clause

Earlier this year, I went water tubing. As part of this, I was been given one of those liability forms so that, should something happen they can say they warned me. I always read these things. (This has annoyed people in the past, and I just don't get that. Did you really want me to sign and not read it?) So, in the list of risks for participating in water sports, along with wind, sun, water and the possibility of getting wet they include "The presences of insects and marine life form". Really? People have to be told that when you go out into the outside, especially on a river there might be bugs and marine life? Really? I have to sign proving that I understand that I may encounter a mosquito? And, while I generally take the view that the stupid clauses are a result of something happening, I cannot imagine what exchange or threatened action has resulted in the need to clarify that people who go outside might encounter bugs or marine life. In fact, the more I think about it, that must have been some scary bug. Or something.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Books and More Books

There's all sorts of booky goodness afoot.
Book Binge mentioned the Buy Books For the Holidays Campaign which has a bunch of suggestions for great gifts.
I have long been a big book giver for various occasions, in part because I like books, and also because they are easy to wrap.
Also, if you are feeling especially kind, libraries often have online wishlists at places like Amazon, so you could donate one. (You can even do it on behalf of someone you are struggling to find the right gift for. Just saying.)
Alison Kent is giving away quite a few things over on her blog. Actually, never mind, I want those.
Super Librarian talks about the increase in borrowing in her district, suggesting that while people still love a good story, they are spending a little less of their pennies that way.
And Smart Bitches, among others, have contributed to the various ebay auctions to support author Jo Leigh, who has some hefty bills in the wake of her husband's death. The auctions include books, ARCs, manuscript reads and the chance to name a character in a future book, so quite a range.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Books: Maximum Exposure

Alison Kent offered to send ARC's of Maximum Exposure to anyone who would blog about them, and we all know I'm a sucker for a deal like that.
Maximum Exposure follows several people in Florida. Olivia owns a designer boutique and also has a predilection for exhibitionism. Her friend, who owns an art gallery, has suggested she find a photographer to take pictures of her revealing herself for a gallery showing.
So, when a handsome guy with a camera shows up in the cafe across the street from the boutique, it seems like Fate. Said guy, Finn, is actually a PI, who has been hired to find some info about Roland who works at the boutique.
The story is both hot (I discovered quickly it did not make for good metro reading) and interesting. Finn's investigation uncovers some dangerous information. Also, his attraction to Olivia and his naturally inquisitive nature lead him to want to find out more about why Olivia chooses to expose herself.
I enjoyed reading it, and the story stood up to the crazy nature of my shrinking reading time this month. I enjoyed watching Finn and Olivia figure out how they felt about each other and also liked that it existed within the tangle of other people instead of them being in their own special bubble.
The intrigue is not super intriguey, which is to say that this is a book to read for the relationships (and the sex) with a dash of intrigue. It is not a choice for breakneck suspense.
I have a teeny little nitpick near the end, but it is teeny, so not enough to ruin my enjoyment of the story.
Overall, it was a good read. I look forward to more.
Cover Copy and Excerpt available here.

Monday, December 01, 2008

7 Things: NaNoWrimo

1. It's not a race. It seems like it sometimes, but other than trying to achieve 50,000 words, it doesn't matter how you get there. Some people will write 3000 words a day and steam right through it, others will do marathons the last few days. In the end, if you survived, it's all good.
2. Sometimes you just have to write something, anything.
3. Sometimes, in the middle of the stuff you are sure is filler, you will find little bits that you didn't even realize - little plot bits you didn't even realize you had come up with.
4. NaNo forces you to break your writerly procrastinations.
5. Stupid tricks do work. Word wars, sprints, using a silly word, it all helps.
6. It is amazing how much writing I can do when I put my mind to it.
7. It is amazing how freaking exhausted I am at the end of November.