Thursday, July 31, 2008

Blah.

I'm currently trying to kick myself out of a vicious cycle of whininess and apathy. Neither are good for me, or particularly interesting in conversations with others. Once again, I'm stuck with the fact that I need to get over myself and either fish or cut bait.


If you keep on doing what you've been doing, you'll keep on getting what you've been getting. Be the change you wish to see in the world. Insert other "get off your ass and do something about it" quotes here.


So, basically long story short is I'm trying not to burden the rest of you nice people with my melodramatics.



Thursday, July 24, 2008

Kale? I don't get it.

This is not a PSA about kale. Although, given our rocky history it wouldn't be beyond me.

I have yet to figure out kale. I'm not a big fan, I've got to say. Oh, sure - I know it's full of good stuff like calcium and vitamins and such.  I tried it a couple times when I first started cooking as a vegetarian, and I wasn't impressed. I've yet to figure out if it was the recipe or the kale itself that just didn't work. Usually when I come across a recipe with kale, I substitute spinach. Still a calcium-rich green but at least I understand and enjoy it.

Well, now I've got no choice. Kale and I must become friends. I've just been presented with enough kale to feed a small army. One of my coworkers jokingly mentioned this morning that one way to solve the world's hunger problems would be to give everyone one zucchini seed. Just the one seed, and a family would have enough to eat for a year... and would still be trying to give it away to unsuspecting passers-by. Similarly, maybe the world should join a CSA - they'd have enough kale to feed everyone and still be able to pawn it off on friends too polite to say no.

Now, Blog World, please tell me what the heck I'm supposed to do with this stuff?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

PSA: Poison Parsnip

Some of y'all out in the midwest and south may know what it is, but I'm betting my pals up here in the Northeast don't have a clue. It looks like this:


It rather looks like yellow Queen Anne's Lace. Touching it won't do anything to you, but its juice is baaaaad news.  It starts off by giving you a poison ivy-type rash. However, exposure to sunlight causes severe burns and discoloration. In extreme cases, permanent scarring can happen. This recently happened to a friend of mine. She assumed she had poison ivy, but a plant-savvy coworker informed her otherwise. Unfortunately, the damage was done. It had already been exposed to sunlight and she now has a rather severe burn and skin discoloration. She's hoping she caught it before any of it is permanent. 

So, if your kids present you with a lovely bouquet of this stuff, be on the lookout for a poison-ivy type rash. Make sure that you do NOT expose the rash to sunlight.

For more information on this, take a gander here, or for a more informative narrative, here.

This means I've done my civic duty for the week, right?


Monday, July 21, 2008

At the End of it All

Here's the tally when it comes to my vacation pledges:
  • To sleep until my eyes pop open from too much sleep: Ironically, only happened twice, just once satisfactorily. Damn those thunder claps waking me up!
  • To do something simply for the pleasure of doing it.: Walked to a small local farmer's market, just because I could. Skipped yoga because I could (and because I overslept), met someone for breakfast because I could, met someone for lunch because I could. Tried on ugly shoes I'll never buy because I could.
  • To not do something simply for the pleasure of not doing it.: We'll call this laundry.
  • To read a book (or at least part of one) that has no redeeming value whatsoever: Okay, I read a book of some redeeming value, but I did read some Star Wars fanfic. Little in the way of redeeming value there.
  • To eat something that is completely unhealthy for me physically, but is perfectly acceptable for my soul. There will most likely be chocolate involved.: Chocolate peanut butter ice cream. Need I say more?
  • To not do anything on this list if I don't feel like it. Except for the first one. That one is mandatory.
I didn't do anything I didn't want/need to do. It was lovely. I wish I could spend more of my days like this.

And now that you're all completely bored with my vacation tally, I shall end this by saying our society is too wrapped up in continually creating and expanding what it already has into something shiny and new. It doesn't reward those who stop to appreciate what it already has before moving on. Maybe the reason why Americans always get such a bad rep when we travel is that we're like petulant children. We're tired and we're cranky and we need a nap, but we refuse to admit it. Taking breaks does is not an admission of weakness. Rather, it's a sign that we aren't automatons ceaselessly toiling on until the gears and belts wear out.

I so live in the wrong country.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Movie Review: Batman - The Dark Knight

You don't need me to tell you how good this movie is, you've all already seen it. What do you mean you haven't seen it yet? Ditch the kids, find a matinee, sneak your way in... whatever you gotta do.

Go. See. This. Movie.

Kay?

Kay.

Now that you've seen the movie, we can discuss it a little. Personally, I think I prefer this movie over the last one. I'm not sure why that is, unless it had something to do with the fact I watched the last one at 3am whilst catching a red-eye to Heathrow.  

Heath Ledger really did deliver one of the best Jokers ever, although I'm not entirely convinced it was Oscar-worthy. I do believe the articles that say he threw himself into that role. He played him with a level of intelligence that anyone rarely allows that character. Too often the role is a goofball villain, but this time around they afforded him genius - genius to understand how those who follows the rules can't cope with anarchy.  

The rest of the characters pretty much followed form, and all brought their top game. I thought it was interesting how they continually played with the idea of what was right, what was moral, how those things changed in a given situation, and how some things remained constant. They've definitely left it wide open for a third movie, ironically with the Joker being able to make future appearances. Those will be some hard shoes to fill - lord knows as an actor I certainly wouldn't want to follow up on Ledger's performance.  

All in all, two thumbs up. If all else, just go to see the 16-wheeler flip over ass over tea kettle. So cool. 

Plus, y'know... Christian Bale in a rubber suit. Hello.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Well... ah... er...

... it's finished. Just now. I'm not particularly happy with it. For one, the back is too big for me so it's really gape-y. Two, I'm not fond of the collar. Although, that may be because I didn't quite "get" the sewing instructions. The seams are a mess, but that's my fault. The sleeves came out pretty well - 3/4, which I normally don't like but are cute here. Or at least, they are on the pattern.













Still, the concept is there, and I loved the yarn. I've got like two skeins of it left over. I may make some fingerless gloves with it. 

And man, I didn't realize my hair was getting so long!


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Oh, I get it...

...vacations are for finishing projects you started four months ago! Back in late March/early April, I started a shrug that I was planning on wearing to my friend Robin's wedding. Said wedding happened the first week of May. I just tied off the last end this morning. Now, all the panels are blocked:











I can't get the color to photograph well, but it's a lovely shade of dark lilac. Hopefully I will sew them together tomorrow. My friend Alex, who is moving to Florida in a week and a half, wanted to see the shrug before she left. Looks like she'll get her wish!

All in all, if I do the pattern again, I will make a change or two - primarily putting an edging along the bottoms of the sweater. Some of the edging is also a little rough, but that's from my own inexperience. Considering this is the second major thing I've ever knit (I'm not counting scarves), I'm happy with the way it's turning out.

Now, let's just hope I don't totally screw it up when I sew it together...


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Vay-Kay-Shun

What is this thing I speak of? For the next three days, I will be blissfully away from the office. Three days to do with as I please. The weather is looking fine, so I might just spend some quality time down by the waterfront, just chillin'. I briefly considered doing one yoga class a day, but I'm not going to commit to it. I don't have to. I'm on freaking vacation, people!

I vow:
  • To sleep until my eyes pop open from too much sleep.
  • To do something simply for the pleasure of doing it.
  • To not do something simply for the pleasure of not doing it.
  • To read a book (or at least part of one) that has no redeeming value whatsoever.
  • To eat something that is completely unhealthy for me physically, but is perfectly acceptable for my soul. There will most likely be chocolate involved.
  • To not do anything on this list if I don't feel like it. Except for the first one. That one is mandatory.

Wheeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Meet My New Neighbor












This is my new neighbor. His name is Mithra. He's the good kind of neighbor - nice and quiet, never makes a fuss. I think it's because he sleeps all day. I'll admit he kind of freaks me out a little, but I'm sure he means me no harm. I'm not a big fan of his friends though... that big lizard guy is such a sore loser when Mithra has his poker nights. 

Monday, July 7, 2008

Sing Along: I'm tired...so tired...

Do you know what movie that's from? Let's just say if you've never watched Blazing Saddles, there there is something wrong with you.

Anyway.

I'm tired. Not in the "stayed up too late watching bad television" tired, or "had waaaay too much fun this weekend and am now paying the price" tired. My brain is tired. It's had enough, it's checking out. It's moving to Tahiti with or without me. Frankly, I can't say as I blame it.

The last significant vacation I took was in February of 2007. I believe I was off for a week and a half. Since then, I haven't taken more than three days off in a row, and that was only once. I had originally planned on taking a week in October and visiting my friends in the UK, but I don't think I can hold out until October. Heck, I'm planning on taking a long weekend in September to visit friends in NYC and I don't think I can make it to that either. The thought of holding out until August to take some time for myself makes me want to cry a little.

I think the writing on the wall is "get out of these walls before you shut down completely."

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Flowery Mood

It's been a great, relaxing weekend for me, full of sunny skies and wonderful people. So, for all you loyal readers out there (both of you), here are some flowers in celebration of this wonderful weekend:

So.... You Want to be an Artist.

For the last several weeks, I have been working through The Artist's Way . This book has been out since the 1990's and I've been...