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Monday, May 23, 2005

can i just get something to numb all this?

completely irrelavent misery speak
evan got me a new thermometer. It's a lot cuter than the one I used to use at home, it's blue and by Vick's. It also spits back my temperature in a matter of seconds. Currently, I'm at 101.8, but i'm hoping it goes down soon before I go to pick up ervy and matt at the caltrain.

I have to say, I was quite happy with my palo alto medical foundation. I was able to get a doctor's appt easily this morning, and evan helped drive me there. My doctor (not my normal one) was an extreme fast talker. It was a little overwhelming, but she took my throat culture and even wrote me a note for work (unneccesary for where i work, but I was too amused at the prospect of getting a doctor's note to turn it down. Under doctor's orders, i'm officially not allowed to go into work until wednesday, and even then, it's only if i feel better). Unfortunately, my strep culture came back negative, so i had to go back in this afternoon so they could draw blood (oh god i hate needles, *side note* it once took two nurses to hold me down to get a shot when i was young. i tried to run for the door. damn that shot hurt.) So now I get to wait a couple days for them to tell me if i have mono. To be honest, I can't imagine how I would get mono. I do work at a college campus with lots of students everyday, but i certainly don't swap spit with any of them.

My pain:
hot flashes (suddenly breaking into a sweat for a good hour) / cold flashes (teeth chattering, making me curl into a fetal position under the covers until i get warm again)
hugely swollen and very painful throat and lymph nodes
nausea every once in a while
earaches when my body gets too warm
general fatigue and achey-ness all over

In general, i'm just a big plate of misery consumed with a tall glass of guilt. Why the guilt? This week is really crunch week for me at my jobs. School is going to let out soon, and I'm taking off for evan's brother's graduation this friday. I need to wrap up these experiments stat. And if i do have mono, what then? does that mean i'm incapacitated for a month? or can i work normally?

on friday, i started cleaves, although i am worried about running out of yarn (i'm using lion brand woolease chunky on size 10s. The color is pumpkin, and I got it on sale when the seasonal color was being discontinued. I originally bought 4 balls, but I used up 1 1/2 on another project earlier. so we'll see if I have enough. if anyone has this yarn in this color, i'd be willing to pay for it or work out some kind of trade.

ok. i'm going to go back to dying now.

Friday, May 20, 2005


okay, when I first saw Cleaves from the most recent knitty, I thought, "huh?"

but after seeing this post in the LJ knitting community, I have to say, I think it's damn cute. I'm sure a 21987394757 people would dissagree with me, but ervy likes it, so I'm going to give it the go ahead... Now I just need to figure out if I have the yarn in my stash to complete it or if I have a reason for buying more YARN!!!

Okay, so I'm already bidding on some lamb's pride bulky on ebay. But I found a craftster post where some people have made Cleaves with Lion Brand Wool Ease Chunky on size 10s. I may try that since I actually have enough of this at home to do a Cleaves (they said it toook 2 2/3 balls). So my first Cleaves may be either orange or blue or some mix of both.

In the meantime, here's my teensy bit of progress on my non-mikado ribbon fingerless gloves. The end is so near and yet with my schedule, so far. For some reason the lighting made it look like they're two different colors. it's not. my camera's just crazy.

non knitting, actually, food related
I've been eating tasty food all week. Even on my major work day that beat me nearly to death, I came home and ervy had a delicious plate of butini pasta with a creamy porcini mushroom sauce *YUM!*

On our monthaversary, we roasted up some fresh veggies, (mmm, look at the caramelized goodness!):

and we had some pulled pork (placed fittinly in my pig plate):

Last night, I made fresh tortillas for the first time. I bought the masa from Mi Rancho, and a tortilla press, and soon I was frying up some tortillas!

Paulie got caught by the blog cam!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Arboreal Salamander

After many months of not looking, I finally found out what the two salamanders in my recycle bin were.

They are Arboreal Salamanders, known for climbing trees! Their tails are prehensile, so they actually can use them in climbing. Also, they can apparently squeak like mice, and deliver a painful bite if provoked.

Why the sudden spur to find out information about these wet little creatures? My GSB boss befriended one from his yard. He had no idea what it was but wanted to feed it. So I did a couple google searches.

My searches also led me to
This blog post where a guy runs through what he's been bitten by. For my own catalog and perhaps lack of blogging material, I have decided to make my own list (much shorter, but I'm sure it will fill out in my lifetime).

Animals by which I have been bitten:

Teddy Bear Hamsters
These guys are normally so sweet tempered. Just don't surprise them when they're asleep by trying to lift them out of their warm nest. My thumb got bitten so hard I think it hit a nerve.

Dwarf Hamsters I never met one of these devils that didn't bite

cat That cat at Wegman's was certainly finicky about being petted.

spiders oh god. I hate them so much

mosquitos Camping is a miserable experience for me. Even with pounds of bugspray on, the little buggers seek me out. My mom tells me it's because my blood is naturally sweet.

fleas while visiting a now ex-boyfriend's family, I found out and informed them that they had an infestation of fleas. Their cat had brought them in, and the little buggers were jumping up on our legs from the floor.

cockatiel his name was Pete. He was the pet of an exboyfriend's little brother. As a baby, this bird was such a sweetie. Later on though, he nipped everyone quite hard!

human someone's baby bit my cheek when I was young. They thought he was going to give me a kiss. They were wrong.

firebellied newt had some as pets. the nips don't hurt at all since their mouths are so soft.

lice doesn't every kid get those annoying buggers

yellow jacket I was just playing volleyball at a friend's bday party when one decided to fly up my shorts and take a chunk out of my thigh.

catfish 6th grade camp we went up into the Sierras. We spent some time jumping off rocks into a deep pond which had many little catfish. Climbing out, they kept mouthing/sucking my toes.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Q&A or responses in general

no time for knitting content since I have an 11hour work day to get through (it was going to be 12 but i canceled my first experiment because I thought I would collapse). So today I will catch up on answering some questions from y'all.

1. Multiple people have asked whether chinchilla fur is spinnable. Well, I guess it could be, but I would have to answer 'no' anyway. Chinchilla fur has a short staple length, maybe 1" and no crimp. It is silky soft, but chinchillas do not shed unless they are stressed or terrorized. If caught, they will 'release' fur, but I wouldn't ever suggest harvesting chinchilla fur like this because A) it would make for a very nervous and unhappy chinchilla B) it would make for a very bald and cold chinchilla. Chinchillas can take quite a while to regrow fur they have lost.

2. CynCyn asks if I make my Hot Pot sauce with or without the egg. I do not personally make it with the egg, but I do know what you're talking about as I've seen friends do it... don't worry, my hot pot experience was still uber tasty!

3. Tanya asks how to get avocado seeds to sprout as hers is taking a while to do so. From what I've read, not all avocado seeds sprout, so the seed could be a dud. Also, avocado seeds can take anywhere from 2-8 weeks to sprout probably also dependent on the method you are using to sprout them. Many people (myself included) enjoy watching the process and stick toothpicks in the sides of the seed to hold it up on a jar of water. This is a very fun way to try to grow them, but the seed will actually sprout faster and be hardier if started in moist soil with just the top (the pointier end) sticking up out of the soil.

4. Thank you for Meriah for the advice on the Cherimoya seeds taking a long time to sprout. Thus far, none of the seeds I stuck in pots with bags over them have sprouted, but I'm still hopeful :)

5. Thanks for the compliments on the family pics. Shhhh... no one tell them they're up on my bloggy blog. My family is really weird about having their pics up on the public space. But I think they are all cute, and y'all deserve to see my cute family.

6. Ada pointed out there is a knit in public day. Really everyday is a knit in public day for me (I always knit a bit on the bus), but I'm all for knitters taking to the streets in mass. Join up, yo!

7. thank you all for your compliments on my little deck garden. It certainly makes me happy (and will hopefully feed me nicely over the summer).

8. Since SP4 finished I should mention that not only did Vicki spoil me, but I had a lot of fun sending treats to Cece. Stop by their blogs and say 'hi'

Monday, May 16, 2005

warming up weekend

Friday evening I came home and fell asleep on the futon in my living room only to wake up to a guy in sunglasses standing above me in the living room window. Naturally (for me) I went ahead and screamed and rolled off the futon in surprise. It was just Nick Chan, stopping by to say 'hi' as he was biking home.

Luckily the rest of the evening was fairly low key and relaxing. Ervy, the kitties, and I curled up on the couch to watch most of our TiVo'd weekly show that we hadn't had a chance to see during the week. It was a wonderful sleepy end of a work week. Even Nikko was tuckered out, and curled up on ervy's lap for a nap

Saturday we started off the day by heading over to Common Ground (a organic community garden center which sells lots of heirloom seeds and organic gardening supplies). I purchased a bag of cocoa husks for mulch which made my car smell deliciously like CHOCOLATE! mmmm! We then headed out for dim sum and happened to see different fun things to go to along El Camino.

We ended up stopping at Palo Alto High School's Flea Market where I picked up a couple of 80's crochet magazines and some neat Swedish board things.

Awkward moment (while paying for the crochet mags)
old man seller dude: are you chinese?
me: yes
omsd: how come so many chinese people are with caucasian people (nodding off at ervy who had moved on in the flea market, and adam and emi who also walked on)?
me: um, I don't know
omsd: I thought Chinese people liked to stick together
me: uh, I think it's a generational thing
omsd: oh yeah, like they used to make the women bind their feet.
me: yes. (paid guy and jetted off)

Here are the Swedish board thingies I bought. I just thought they were pretty. the rectangular one says, "Give us our daily bread" (said the vendor), but we have no idea what the round one says. If any of y'all read Swedish, I'd love to know. I was a little peeved to find a sharpied 'x' (near the top) on the rectangular one when I got home. The seller had covered it up with the price sticker.

The rest of Saturday afternoon consisted of sober me, with two drunken males: ervy and paulie. We stopped off at the Wine and Brew festival at Menlo Park College.

I was the chosen designated driver for good reason since I can't drink very much, leading to another awkward moment when the ticket guy tried to get me to buy a drinking wristband as well:

me: I can't drink very much anyway, I get drunk after a glass of wine.
old man ticket guy: *chuckle* where were girls like you when I was growing up?
ervy: um, I think we'll go over here *pulls me away toward the festival*

So we spent a few warm hours at the festival in the sun (we all walked away with sun burns). I followed along watching paulie and ervy drink lots of wine and beer. We also got to see a few drunk old people being...drunk. Always amusing. We finished the day off with a quest for deli meats and some game playing.
Nikko decided he really likes the Woodside Deli bags:

Sunday, not too much occurred other than some pretty radish pickling:

Knitting content

So I didn't make pom poms for my coffee hat yet. I haven't decided what yarn (color) I want to make them out of.... brown or white or the coffee yarn itself? So here I am wearing it in its uncompleted state. Imagine pompoms at the end of the i-cords and one on top of the hat.

I also made some progress on the lap blanket I'm knitting from Weekend Knitting using some recycled yarn and some Geisha yarn.

Friday, May 13, 2005

oh fridays

fridays are the days that participants sign up for experiment times, and then flake because it's such a gorgeous day, and they'd rather spend it with their friends. So I'm stuck in a windowless basement, waiting around for people that never come. I can't complain too much, since I get paid no matter what, but still! I still feel like it's a waste of time somehow.

I'm almost done with my hat... in that it's knitted up, I just need to weave in the ends and make pom poms for it. The GOOD NEWS is that it ACTUALLY FITS!! Yay for random guessing and increasing whenever I felt like it. (I'm sure this concept horrifies many knitters... um... so... uh... sorry?). Pictures to come, next week!

so for now, I'll shove pictures of my garden at you. My patio garden never ceases to amaze me. Even while I try to naturally get battle pests such as aphids (I can sit out there for an hour shooting them off with a water bottle.... why not use a hose you ask? well because then i run the risk of watering my downstairs neighbors' blind dog....which apparently doesn't know to get out from under the water... poor thing) watching my plants bloom and get bushy and tall is wonderful, and I'm always impressed with the speed at which each plant matures. Next year, it's all about companion planting. There will definitelybe marigolds among my tomatoes next year. for shizzy.

Tomato Row: Here are 9 of my 12 tomato plants all in a row along my deck. There's a kaffir lime tree in between some of them, but I doubt you can pick it out. These are all heirloom varieties, and they've grown lovely and full!

my pepper plant has lots of little flowers, and grows taller/bushier every day! It has three peppers already growing on it, and I see why my grandma got so excited to hear i was growing one. My grandma thinks of them as such nice clean plants. Compared with tomatoes, they are wonderfully compact and easy to take care of it seems. I will definitely plant more next year!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

oh baby, it's you... shalalalalalalalaa

What might these be? What the cutelittlefurries is that you might ask...

They're baby Chinchillas! My chins Leia and Chewy had two babies last week. My parents were happy to report their arrival. Aren't they ADORABLE?! Here's a pic of mommy Leia with baby:

right around mother's day, Leia shoots into motherhood! She's looking tired already!

Speaking of babies... remember to vote for my NIKKO at the PURRRFECT KITTY CONTEST!
y'all do remember nikko, right? here he is playing birdwatcher (there's a bird feeder right outside our big window)


Thank you to my secret pal Vicki. She sent me one last package when she revealed herself! Lookie! There's a pretty braid of superwash merino for me to spin up. I have to admit, I'm pretty excited about the embroidery patterns. I haven't embroidered before, but it seems like something I'm going to enjoy. She even got my some pretty candy colored beads which will be perfect for making fun spring/summer jewelry with memory wire!

Monday, May 09, 2005

Vote For Nikko!

My Nikko is up now for vote at the purrrfect kitty contest. Please stop by and vote for my baby!

Mother's Day weekend took over my life Saturday and Sunday. My family was supposed to go down to S. Cali to meet up with relatives to play Mah Jong, but some complications came up, so we stayed around the Bay Area instead. Saturday, I had a tasty dinner at Grand River Hot Pot Cafe in SF to celebrate mother's day with my Nai Nai.

(left to right: me, nai nai, my brother, my auntie helen, my auntie marion, daddy). Ervy took the picture. We decided this was a much nicer experience than going to hot pot city if only for the fact that we left and didn't reek of Hot Pot! It was good to see my Nai Nai. As an extra plus, I got to gossip about The OC with my brother ("Oh my god, it's getting so intense"- Will. Apparently he and his friends have weekly parties around the show, which was greatly interrupted by the President's rebroadcasted speech a couple weeks ago), and Desperate Housewives ("It's so obvious that Mrs Solis's baby is the gardener's" - Auntie Marion).

Sunday, my mom, grandma, ervy, will and I headed off to the Asian Art Museum in SF. We had a guided tour of many buddhist statues from Tibet, India, China, etc. The coolest/creepiest thing we saw was a teapot made from human skulls. ICK! There were also pipes made from human femurs.

(left to right in front of some bull statue: will, mom, me, grandma)

After another mommy day dinner, we headed out to Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy which was quite enjoyable! My favorite part included a crab that says, "Whee!"

Blah, now I'm here at work. I actually have my camera, so I thought I'd show y'all the ridiculous mammoth-sized archeaic vhs video recorders I use in the business school to record some of my experiments. They barely work. And they're bigger than my head.

oh yeah, and I'm a dork.

Thanks for all the well wishes on my bad day last week. I got my cake, and some tasty pizza. I didn't get a chance to knit on my long commute home, I was mainly grumbling away to myself, and trying to avoid crazy drivers who were as equally frustrated as I was. I have been knitting a bit though. Here's a hat I started on last week from my Coffee Break yarn. I'm not using a pattern (a decision that doesn't bode well for me), so we'll see if it miraculously fits in the end, or if I rip it out and actually swatch and make/find a pattern.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

dude, when it's bad, it's bad

yesterday i had a 2 hour commute home. (I know some people do this every day, but my commute is normally 15 minutes). The Atherton cops blocked off Northbound El Camino and diverted us down small residential Atherton Streets. bummer.

Today, I woke up to an unhappy email from my boss. She claimed I must have done the data analysis incorrectly since we didn't get any results. So I spent my morning and early afternoon redoing all the analyses with another person, only to end up with the same thing, again.

Then, here's the kicker. I knocked over an open water bottle onto closed laptop of the grad student I work with. I actually had a bunch of paper towels on me (I was about to eat). so I immediately tried to dry it up. Luckily the laptop was closed (so no water went into the keyboard). She did admit it was partially her fault for leaving her open water bottle on the floor next to her laptop. But I am the one who knocked it over. So I told her I'd pay for anything if it needs to get fixed. Last I heard, it was "blinking" and she was trying to get all her work onto the psych server.

bad days kick my butt.

I need some Yumi Frozen Yogurt or a piece of cake so I can wash the day away in sugary goodness.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

yay for exciting emails!

Woke up this morning to a nice surprise/request in my email box.

The associate editor of Family Circle Knitting was requesting samples of some of my products from Asha's Corner! I was of course skeptical at first (in case someone was trying to scam me) but the address I sent the samples to is actually the offices of soho publishing (Family circle knitting, vogue knitting, etc), so it appears to be legit. Woot!

Of course that doesn't mean I'll be in a magazine. I'm just getting reviewed for the possibility. But that's pretty neat in itself! Honestly, I was actually just happy that they even stumbled across my site! Neato!

Anyway, I spent this morning before work, busy throwing together the sample package, and waiting in line at the post office to overnight it to NY. Then I got to come in and learn how to handle the reaction time data I'm getting from participants. Exciting, no?

I bought an $11 fruit yesterday. Yes, it was one fruit. It better be a darn good fruit. It's a Cherimoya. (They look like artichokes to me!) I am interesting in seeing if I can grow the seeds and then convince my parents to plant it in their yard. Even if it does grow, pollinating this fruit tree sounds insane! Each flower is a male and a female (but at different times of the day). So in the morning, you may have 40 male flowers that you have to collect pollen from so that in the afternoon, when they turn into female flowers, you can pollinate them! I can see why the fruit is $11. Apparently, the only place in the US that has been able to grow them is California.

Ervy also picked up three passion fruits for me last night at Sigona's (Thanks Ursula for the tip!). I have to admit, I was amazed at the ratio of seeds to pulp/juice, but the juice IS super tasty. We made some yummy drinks with passion fruit juice, lime juice, and tequila... I got a wee bit too drunk last night! A good way to start off the week, no?

I also picked up a small yellow papaya to try, and a couple avocados. I plan to try to grow them all, and see what happens :)

Monday, May 02, 2005

I'll admit it

So my balcony is getting a bit full of plant life. This weekend I purchased the Bears Lime plant I wanted (after eyeing the blood orange varieties for a while).

Ervy and I undertook the task of repotting our large kaffir lime tree (large for my garden, probably like 6 ft tall) into a 20" container that will probably be its final home. It actually came free of its terra cotta pot fairly easily (wasn't horribly rootbound, but had enough of a wonderful root system to ease itself out). I potted my new small lime plant in the kaffir lime's old pot which will probably be the Bears lime plant's final home (if it survived the repotting, it's root system sucked... of course, that's why we bought it at home depot... yay for 1 yr guarantees!).

I've decided if my kaffir lime tree fruits again this year (as it looks like it's intending to do again), I will actually harvest the seeds from the fruit and try to raise some seedling kaffir lime plants. Kaffir limes are apparently a true citrus (not a hybid whose seeds will produce something like a grapefruit or whatever) which is lovely. I know many citrus grown from seed do not ever flower, but of course with a Kaffir Lime plant, the leaves are its main commodity, so it's not an issue.

I've discovered what the beautiful flowers behind the Woodside Deli are:

It is in fact the flower of a passion fruit! I've never actually eaten one of these treasures, but I hear from my coworker at the GSB that they're quite excellent! They also grow SUPERBLY from seed, and I think I may try this if I ever get ahold of the fruit. (I may fertilize some of the flowers behind the deli, and see if I can get ahold of some fruit that way...).

I have lofty goals for growing... but of course, as I mentioned, my deck is getting pretty full... Do most edible things in the garden require full sun? What container edibles prefer light but not direct sun? I'd like to plant whatever those could be on the other side of my house :)