Thursday, October 29, 2009

Well, Lookie Here!

It's a finished project.

And yes, it's another Noro striped scarf. This one, however, is half Noro and half Ella Rae wool...makes the scarf cheaper but, I think, no less pretty.

I am particularly pleased with this one because I had the forethought to work the first skein of Noro from the outside and and the second from the inside out, so that the colors are mirrored on either side. I had thought that these colors would be really good for one of my cousins, but her mom seemed to think until I decide who might like it, it's an orphan.

And I got a little yarn today. I was cruising around Etsy (always a dangerous thing) and stumbled upon Gypsyknits. I really like her colors and I ended up with these:

From left to right - Melted Crayons, Farmer's Market and Appalachia. The colors are soft and muted but really rich and lovely. Very autumnal.

And I've started a project that is scaring me a little...let's just say it involves ripping and reknitting...I'm taking lots of pictures, so if all goes well, I'll be documenting it.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sometimes... can go home again.

So this Saturday Mr. Pointy Sticks and I spent the day here.

It was Homecoming weekend at my college and, though it wasn't a special year (but yikes! the 33rd!!) a small group of us decided to get together.

For a little while it was pretty...

though rather grey and sprinkly. And then it started pouring...and pouring harder. But we did okay. Andy, Bev, Beth, Mike and Bill...we managed to find dry places to hang out and eat and talk and generally carry on...

And we had a great dinner at a restaurant that had very good Margaritas. And, oh yeah, the dinner was good too.

I was somewhat nervous about meeting all these guys again. There've been a lot of years under the bridge since we were last together and I was afraid it might be like being with strangers. But no, it felt wonderful. I especially enjoyed being with Bev and Beth...we were all so close freshman and sophomore year. Things sort of fell apart in our junior and senior year...Beth moved off campus and I moved into a suite with another group of women...we were never as close again. But last felt like freshman year again. Bev and Beth were my first real friends since I was about 12...I never really had any friends after 7th grade for various reasons. (I went to a different school for 8th grade and then back to the first school for 9th grade by which time the friends I had in 7th had reformed into different and rigid little groups and I didn't fit into any of them.) And Mike and Bill (and to a certain extent, Kevin and Steve and Dan, who were also there but didn't spend as much time with us) were part of our tight group of friends, too.

It's amazing how little we have all changed over the years, really. Scary maybe just how set your personality is at 18. As Simon and Garfunkle say, "after changes upon changes, we are more the less the same."

And it is reassuring to discover that we've all forgotten a lot. It isn't just me. One of us would tell a story..."Remember this...." and one other person might say "Yeah!" and all the rest of us would look blank and say, "I don't remember that at all!"

Anyway, we've all pledged to come back for the 35th reunion in 2 years. And now I'm looking forward to it.

And Beth asked me to update my book, Beth, I've done that for you. And here are some recommendations.

Of the books I listed tonight, I really liked:

The Anthologist, Nicholson Baker's latest. Like a lot of Baker's book, this is sort of a story about nothing. It's the narrative of Paul Chowder, a poet who has lost his lover, Roz, and his ability to write. His musings on this and on poetry are both sad and funny and will teach you a lot about poetry. By the end of the book, you're really rooting for Chowder and the ending is satisfying.

The Broken Teaglass by Emily Arsenault. A quirky sort of mystery, with a love story. Or a quirky love story with a mystery. The setting, at a company that publishes dictionaries, is wonderful.

Unseen Academicals by Terry Pratchett. He hasn't lost his touch.

This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper. When Judd Foxman's marriage ends "the way these things do: with paramedics and cheesecake," and his father dies, Judd ends up back at home, sitting shiva with his mother and siblings, people he has a hard time spending five minutes with. I really enjoyed this, even though I realized, at the end of it, that I was closer in age to Judd's mother then Judd...

I also read Her Fearful Symmetry...and I have to say, I had some problems with this. I didn't like the big twist at the end. As a mother, I found it difficult.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Another One Bites The Dust

The weekend is winding down. It had its good points. I got myself a new cost from Lands End. It's bright red and water repellent and warm. And yesterday at The Black Sheep I found some perfect yarn to make myself a hat to match my new coat. We got birdseed and Mr. Pointy Sticks got the feeders all refilled. Had a nice lunch out yesterday.

And tomorrow it's back to work.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Just Call Me Wordless McNotype

I have been particularly unwordy these days. Work is continuing to be extremely busy and when I come home I just collapse. Add to that that I think I'm fighting a cold and that I'm not sleeping well and...voila! No blogging.

Mr. Pointy Sicks and I had a dinner worth blogging about though this past Wednesday. We had been given, for last Christmas, a gift certificate to the Milton Inn. And we finally got around to treating ourselves. And....yum.

First of all, the place is lovely. It is...not elegant exactly, but tastefully fancy. (Elegant to me implies less warmth...this place felt very welcoming.) Comfortable in an old Baltimore kind of way. It reminded me of Marconi's, a restaurant that used to be in downtown Baltimore and had the same kind of comfortable class...though it was perhaps a little bit shabbier.

We were seated in a front room. There was a fire in the fireplace and we were seated right up again the side of the mantelpiece...we couldn't see the fire, but we could see the firelight dancing on the walls and glasses and silverware. For appetizers, Mr. P.S. had a baby spinach salad (which tempted me except that I was getting spinach with my entree) and I had a marinated and grilled portabella mushroom cap filled with crabmeat and bruschetta. Very tasty though a little on the salty side for me. (I don't cook with any salt, generally, so restaurant food often seems a little too salty.) For entrees, I had the chicken breast on parmesan grits, baby spinach and tomato wedges with pesto. Oh man, those grits! Creamy and flavorful and so good...I could have rubbed them in my hair. Though that would have been a waste of grits. Mr. P.S. had - get this - a filet mignon, topped with a crabcake and covered in bearnaise sauce with mashed potatoes and steamed veggies. It looked gorgeous and he said it was pretty damn good.

For dessert, we shared a selection of sorbets - lemon, raspberry and mango - and a slice of the best flourless chocolate cake I've ever had. Rich and creamy and decadent. Decorated with an amazing chocolate truffle. I told the waiter, when he came to clear the table, that I thought the cake should be illegal, it was that good.

So it was a lovely dinner and we had a nice time there. I can definitely see saving up some money and going back there again.

Heh. I like this bit from the Milton's Inn chef:

And, being from Baltimore County, he knows that Baltimoreans love their crab. "Put crab on anything and they'll order it. And they love their red meat. They don't want their food to be too fancy and theywant a big portion." Boston says. "Don't give them the small food. They want to be fed."

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sorry, Mom...

When I was a little girl, shopping wasn't done at malls (or, as I prefer to think of them, mauls). Instead, one dressed up, with patent shoes and white gloves, and went downtown (on the bus) to the department stores. We favored Hutzler's but shoppers had the choice of Hutzler's, Hecht's, Hochschild Kohn's or Stewart's...all independently owned. We dressed up, as I said, and had lunch there...either in the fancy restaurant (oh, their Welsh rarebit...yum) or across the street in the Annex Coffee Shop, which was more like a diner. Conveyor belts carried the covered plates out from the kitchen to the counter waitresses. Each cover had from one to three holes in it because there were three bays to the counter as it twisted across the room...

Anyway, on one of those trips when I was eight or so, we went downtown to get me new dress-up shoes. There were lots of black patent shoes, some white patent, and oh my, one pair of gorgeous red patent shoes. I fell in love with these shoes...they had straps like Mary Janes, but those straps could swivel back and tuck behind the top of the heel so that the shoes worked as slipons, too. There was red grosgrain ribbon around the edges of the shoe and a large bow at the toes. They were a gorgeous shiny red.

And my mom said no. Absolutely not. Nice little girls didn't wear red patent shoes in my mom's world. So home we came with sedate black patent shoes.


Sorry, Mom.

I got myself some new shoes yesterday. This red pair may be my favorites. But I also got these, which will show off my handknit socks nicely.

And these, the fluffy linings of which will keep my feet nice and warm.