Recent Posts

Monday, January 30, 2006


okay, so one of my potential advisors called me to say he really wants me to join his research program, and while he's asking me whether I had any further questions for him, Nikko jumps from the floor onto MY HEAD!

Of course, I had been intensely listening to the potential advisor, and trying not to make any bumbling statements (as is often the case). But when the cat hit my noggin', I yelled into the phone... followed by a quick and profuse apology to the professor on the other end.

Man, Nikko! bad timing kitty! Nikko, you're lucky I love you so much!

Friday, January 13, 2006

sp7 questionaire

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand?
I'm not a yarn snob. I adore high end fibers, but I also use lion brand for projects. I am fine with acrylic as long as it's soft and cuddly.

2. Do you spin? Crochet?
I spin on an Ashford Traditional Wheel.

3. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
pitchers, needle rolls, balls of yarn :)

4. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
3 years. I'd say intermediate.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
yes. It's here

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
vanilla or gardenia... I'm so boring.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
yes. I LOVE dark chocolate and gummy things! I've really enjoyed violet crumbles in the past or just yummy chocolate truffles.

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?
Sew, make cards, origami, make jewelry

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
indie bands. some of my favs are Death Cab for Cutie, Postal Service, The Tragically Hip, Beulah, Mates of State, The New Pornographers, and The Shins.
so if it sounds along those lines, I'll probably like it.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
I love blue. beyond that, I really digging earthy tones right now!

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I live with my boyfriend and two kitties named Asha and Nikko and a guinea pig named Mesquite (skeeter)

12. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
scarves, hats, mittens yes... ponchos... no

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
really soft ones, or ones I spin :)

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
scratchy, squeaky acrylic

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?
lace shawls

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
lace shawls and hats

17. What are you knitting right now?
lace cowl, hat

18. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?
circs all the way baby!

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
bamboo or aluminium

21. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
i own both :)

22. How did you learn to knit?
online instruction

23. How old is your oldest UFO?
too old to say w/o embarrassment

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?
hello kitty

25. What is your favorite holiday?

26. Is there anything that you collect?
yarn, vintage knitting magazines, cookbooks

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
i think mine are running out now

28. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on?
heartstrings flame ring neck cowl pattern i think

29. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
entrelac, more lace

30. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
nope. i've knit one sock, I never knit the 2nd. I wear size 8 1/2 womens shoes

31. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)

bloggin' from my own computer again!!!!

The lighting in my kitchen through the colors off on this, but I love watermelon radishes; I love the way they taste, and I love the way they look. I find they taste the best roasted up with fennel, parsnips, and onions, but a little pan cooking in butter is always tasty too!

I'm excited to see my friend Stacey tonight! She just got engaged, and we're going to a place called Barclay in Berkeley for drinks and gossip. Unfortunately, there will be no vodka tonics for me since it's mainly a beer and food place (I hope they have some nice yummy dark ales or stouts!

Skittle is becoming a regular fixture around our house. I actually think he will be a little sad when he will have to go home since he loves our cat tree, and has way too much fun chasing Asha and Nikko around the house.

in other great great news, MY COMPUTER IS FIXED!!! I'm so happy about my baby. The apple tech on the phone wasn't able to help, so I finally took it in to the stanford bookstore. As we were discussing data retreival options (btw, the bookstore is awesome about this, they charge $90/hr, but it would probably have only been an hour of work on their part because they would have let me come in to drag and copy the files I wanted on my own time!). While we were talking, the bookstore computer guy took out my battery and pulled out my airport card and pushed it in. Voila! He turned it on, and all worked perfectly--no kernel panics, no booting to open-firmware... HUZZAH!

I'll admit, I'm such a geek attached to my computer. I almost cried when it came back to life. Honestly, I had tears in my eyes and I was a bit sniffly! And it was such an easy fix. People had been telling me my motherboard or my ram might have gone bad. I had tried resetting the PRAM and all these other commands that people on help boards suggested. No one suggested this, and it was SO easy. Apparently, the bookstore people just noticed a few computers having this problem in the past month. So the Apple techs don't even have it in their debugging binder checklists!!

So, for those of you who search google because your Apple Powerbook G4 running OS X boots to open firmware or you get an error: ALLOC-MEM request too big! try first pulling out your airport card and pushing it in all the way. If it doesn't fix your problem, no harm no foul, but if it does, think about all the anxiety and money you may be saving!

To get to the airport card, remove the battery on the back of your powerbook using a coin to unlock it.

Your airport card is on the right side, hidden behind a little metal door flap. There's a plastic strip you can use to pull out the airport card slightly (just about a half inch), then push it back in all the way. Reloop the plastic back as you found it so you can close the door. Stick in your battery and see if your computer works!

Sorry for my regular readers for this random delving into tech support. I felt it was my duty as a blogger to get this info out onto the web to help people, since the first thing I did when my computer died was to search the net about its errors. If I had run across this problem, I could have had a happy computer much sooner!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Weekend fun!

I had such a fun weekend! Friday night, we kept things low key and had Fuson over and played San Juan until 2am. We had been craving blackened catfish, but last week the seafood counter at Whole Foods had slim pickings due to the storms earlier. We ended up buying a whole snapper and having the guy fillet it on the spot. It was fine, but I'm still craving catfish!

Saturday, evvy and I went to work out at EA. I like it much better on the weekends when there are fewer people in the gym. I also feel better about changing one of the TVs to watch food tv while on the elliptical. For some reason, watching food just makes me forget that I'm actually exercising at the same time.

Speaking of food, I found myself salivating over the muffins on the Whole Foods recent mailer. The recipe is for Granola & Applesauce Muffins, although I modified it a bit. I really like these. They're simple and delicious. In the future, I think I would add more oats.

Here's my modified version of the printed recipe:

Oatmeal & Applesauce Muffins

1.5 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup chopped dried cranberries
1 cup all purpose unbleached flour
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1.5 cups Applesauce
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup brown sugar
5 Tb canola oil
2 eggs
pinch of salt
2 Tb good local honey (I used orange honey)
rolled oats for topping

Preheat oven to 400F. Combine oats, walnuts, dried cranberries, flours, salt, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together applesauce, milk, sugar, honey, oil, and eggs. Add to dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Divide evenly into muffin tins (use either a non-stick pan or muffin papers) and fill 3/4 full. Sprinkle extra oats (if you would like you can sprinkle a little sugar on top as well to give it a little more sweetness) on top and bake 18-20 minutes or until tester inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool slightly and remove to a cooling rack. Makes 9-12 muffins.

Saturday night we headed over to Hilary and Steven's new place for Hilary's birthday party. We had a great time playing an old school game called "Pit" (Minli, in case you're reading this from Italy, I think you'd like this game). It's a commodities trading game that Hilary had enjoyed playing while growing up. In fact, she still had the same 1980's colored set from her youth (very cool and kitch). Basically, the game involves lots of yelling, hand-waving, and swapping of cards. We all agreed the game would be super enjoyable while drunk, but alas, we stayed sober for the drive home. We ended up staying at Hilary's house until 2:30am ish chatting with Marie. We're so excited to meet another cat lover (she has FOUR in her apartment), gamer (board/cards) and foodie (she's been to cooking school!). Hey Marie if you somehow read this, I'm totally excited to visit you for movie night and try some of the fabulous Chai you speak of!

Sunday, I woke up late and immediately started using this yarn I spun up:

I spun this up to have lots of texture and color. I had planned to make a bag for myself, but I wanted to make something fun for my friend Marlow since I haven't seen her in ages. I ended up making a cute little bag that I totally meant to take a picture of. I madly knitted and seamed the bag up in the car on the way to see Marlow and Tara. It was great catching up with the two of them and meeting Tara's dog Olive.
Here we are trying to look cute:

and here we are being a bit crazy:

kitty progress
The three kitties get along pretty well now. Friday, all slept peacefully in Skittle's room on the futon:

Nikko and Skittle have a ton of fun playing with each other, running around at top speed. I like it best when the little guy finally tuckers out and arrives purring at my lap ready for a nap.

Friday, January 06, 2006

sp6 who are you?

Now that the holidays are over, and I've photographed the wonderful things I've received in the mail, it's time to blog about them...

My wonderful SP6 sent me this GORGEOUS journal that even has pockets (how cool is that?!) and a mix cd (it was played at several holiday gatherings!), and a bunch of those yummy reese's peanut butter cups that were enjoyed by all who stopped by my abode this season!

Thanks so much SP6.... now I realize that I've recycled the box that these goodies came in, so I do not know who you are... Please let me know so I can give you a proper thank you!

I also need to send out a big thank you to all my stitch marker swap partners (Bethanie, Audrey(aka Pixie Sticks), Elspeth, Bradley & Joy). Look at the wonderful gifts and beautiful markers they sent along to me:

Wow, I'm super excited to start a new lace shawl soon with all these beautiful stitchmarkers! Thanks so much!

Here's a pic of the stitchmakers I sent out to people:

This holiday was filled with SO much good food! Ervy and I will be trying to eat healthier (for at least a little while), and I'm meeting him later at the gym to try to burn off a few of those oh-so-tasty rum cake calories!

I'll sign off with a pic I'd like to name "2 dorks and a goose." We served roast goose to Evan's family for Christmas along with Yorkshire pudding, sweet potato casserole, cheesy broccoli, stuffing, and rum cake.

oh my god, we're so dorky.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

my computer went kaput!

My laptop that has gone almost everywhere with me since purchasing it (only about 1.5 yrs ago) died. Hopefully it will go to the bookstore where it will still be under warranty (i bought the applecare protection program when i bought the comp, although i only just activated it) where they will recover all my data and replace whatever needs fixin'. The bookstore guy said he thought it might be the motherboard going bad. My poor baby won't even turn on at all, and it was working fine just yesterday.

I'm determined not to let this interfere with my intentions to keep blogging. Luckily, I still have a few photos in photobucket that I've been meaning to blog about.

For instance, I could show you a picture of what my wonderful ervy got me for Christmas this year.
Last year he bought me Wally, my spinning wheel, so topping that was going to be pretty hard. But you see, I think my sweetie pays close attention to my craigslist and ebay searches. This Christmas I opened up a box to find this:

He found me a drum carder!!! I of course went to work immediately trying to blend and learn how to use it. Here are a few of the carded batts I've made and tied up for safe keeping. I've already spun up about 3 batts not pictured here!

I've actually found that carding the Merino X wool I've washed has made it much easier to spin. I plan to wash more of Alice's fleece so I can make some more wonderfully soft merino skeins. My merino singles are about sport weight/lace weight right now, so I intend to ply. Yay for spinning! Maybe I'll spin some more tonight to keep my mind off my computer.

Skittle seems to find my spinning wheel a bit scary though. Speaking of the little fur ball, I am constantly amazed at how much energy he has (and appetite). While I'm at work (and while we're sleeping), Skittle lives in the second bedroom where he can look out onto the neighbors and out at the squirrels that dig up my pots on the balcony. As soon as I open that door when I'm home, he runs out and darts about the whole house (minus my bedroom--the only place I fear he might get lost). He's a complete spaz, and darts here and there playing with everything, pouncing on Nikko, trying to eat food off our tables, etc. Both Asha and Nikko were about 6 months when we got them, and they didn't have quite this much energy. It's certainly hard to get the little guy to settle down and sit on a lap, but I'm sure that would come with age.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

visiting kittles

Lookie at the cute little squirt of a kitty I get to cat sit for 2.5 weeks!

He's such a cute little rascal, and he's so pint sized next to bear-like nikko. Cat introductions with Skittle, Nikko, and Asha are going much quicker and much easier than with just nikko and asha. Skittle seems to want to rule the roost. He doesn't seem to realize he's a 1/3 of nikko's size. He'll charge at nikko (who normally yawns or bats back without claws as if it's a game). Asha is wary of skittle, but she doesn't go after him. She just hisses at him if he comes too close to her. I predict they'll be napping next to each other very soon.

rum cakery
As previously mentioned, this holiday I made rum cake in bundt form!

The ervy gifted me with not one, not two, but THREE Nordicware bundt pans I had been eyeing. I used this rum cake recipe to christen the pans. Oh my, what a christening. It's quite tasty. I used the full recipe in one big normal sized bundt pans. It didn't quite rise all the way to the top, but it worked out anyway!

Rum Cake Bundt recipe

Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy Holidays!

Specifically, Happy New Year!

Here Ervy and I pose with my friends Hilary and Steven and our Christmas tree after some holiday gaming (San Juan, I believe).

I'm downloading photos from my camera right now so I can try to catch up on all the blogging I missed. Although, I was a poor blogger the past couple months, I did manage to whip out a camera during key times such as:

when my flower basket shawl was finished and blocking

It's my first finished lace project, and I made a bijillion mistakes (but didn't fix them), and I love it anyway. It's earmarked as my grandma's xmas gift, but she was in HK this holiday season to visit my aunt's family, and so she'll get it later :) Here's a close-up for my own pleasure.

Also this holiday season, there was yummy foodage.

There were large turkey tamales (made in a meatloaf pan):

This was one of the ways we used up leftover turkey. We also did sesame turkey noodles, turkey curry, turkey congee, & turkey donburi style in our effort to make turkey new and exciting every day we revisited it.

This season I also found the magic of Yorkshire Pudding. I had no idea what this was, but I wanted to include it on my Christmas menu for my family (I also made figgy pudding - really it's a cake using figs and craisins). Yorkshire pudding is magical to watch cook. It's basically just a bit of flour and egg, salt and milk thrown into a pan of 450F 3Tbl roast drippings (we roasted a goose which gave us soooo much drippings). The pudding starts to arch and create really tall walls at the sides of the pan and then rise in the middle, leaving you with this weird architectural edible creation worthy of some tasty gravy and meat.

There's more to talk about, but I need to get the photos of stitchmarkers and sp gifts off the camera. Suffice to say, there is more yumminess and craftiness talk on the way, I just needed to get my lazy blogger butt back into the blogosphere!

Preview for next time (Rum Cake heaven):