Monday, April 28, 2008

Post 147-Ca-Ra-Zy!

Things are starting to get a little crazy over here at Chateau Le Yarnsnob.

To start off with, yes, Jason was kicked off Survivor. I was bummed, Grandma was pissed, my uncle Ron, his dad, was well, kinda relieved I think. Overall it was better that he left being a nice guy and not some snarky backstabber.

At least I don't have to worry about trying to catch the finale while at sea. Hoping that Jason was going to win I was nervous about not seeing the end. I still will want to see what happens and who wins but if I can't get a signal, well at least it would be because I was cruising Alaska and that's pretty darn cool.

Sea Socks is just over a week away and I'm finally getting excited. I've been preparing for awhile and am almost done. New undies and socks along with travel sized toiletries have been procured. I've gotten some cool Threadless T-shirts to wear, a new pair of jeans, my first tennis shoes in a decade I think and I scored some Calvin Klein fitted empire waist tunic tops on sale at Nordstroms. I've started gathering items in a pile in the kitchen and really need to pull out my suitcase this weekend. All that's left to do is get my haircut and then a mani-pedi. I've been putting off the knitted slippers because I've been working on a scarf for a friend and now I need to get cracking, I'm not sure what design to go with but will have to make something cool because I love to win swag. Speaking of winning contests....I was checking out some of my favorite knitting sites and was over at to see what they were up to and how they've adapted to the neighborhood and they had a surprise quiz. Needless to say, I was the first to answer the question of what Azores Lace is. Thanks to some swift research I now have a lovely gift certificate to the store that I will let marinate until I'm ready to make a certain sweater out of Rowan tweed.

So to round the week off, if you want your very own Survivor immunity idol, I think I know where you can pick up one if your ready to let go of some cool cash.
Also, I have a hankering for some Steak and Shake, I haven't been there in awhile and miss it, I wondering who I could go there with......

Friday, April 18, 2008

Post 146-California Dreamin'

Bad traffic, wild cougars and earthquakes, if I didn't see the Sears Tower from my El platform everyday on my way to work I would have sworn I was in California. Chicago isn't supposed to have earthquakes, I didn't feel it this morning like everyone else. Finding and shooting a cougar 1.5 miles from my house and 6 miles from downtown and Lake Michigan isn't normal. And while we have had several issues with the Ohare Blue Line lately, the commute really is getting better, I swear, downtown to my stop, walking to my house and back out to walk the dog in 30 minutes flat.

I always joked that if I wanted fire, flood and famine I would move to California, I'm getting nervous sitting here in my apartment in the formerly safe Midwest....I think I'll just put on some Kenny G, have a drink and chill.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Post 145-New Perspective

Kudos to cousin Jason, he's made it to the top 8 now on Survivor. Overall I say he's been playing nice but also kinda stupid. I can't believe he thought the fake idol that Ozzie crudely carved to replace the real one was, well real, and second, why in the world was he stupid enough to believe any of the other contestants wouldn't vote for him if he gave up immunity for a platter of food to share. Somehow it turned out right in the end and completely changed the game, pretending to vote him off gave the girls a chance to turn around and get Ozzie and the unplayed immunity idol off, what a coup.

The boys and grandma.

Really though, this whole thing has taught me something, I would never want to be famous, even being related to semi-famous people sucks. It's really hard hearing and reading people bash your relatives for no reason other than their own amusement and to entertain others. This whole experience for me has turned me off of celebrity gossip shows, wanting to know about the private lives of others, news programs and tv in general. What's being produced, written and shown is bias and skewed by someone's perspective, we always knew that but I really don't like it anymore. Add in this constant crap about the election and I trust now one to tell me the truth or be fair without some hidden agenda.
If you don't like cousin Adam's band The Academy Is, don't listen, but to get vicious and personal eh? If you don't like the way Jason has played the game on TV, vote and support someone else but don't make a YouTube video about him calling him a douche bag, where do these people get off?

I've said what I needed to so now down to some cool stuff. Three weeks until Seasocks, I guess I better start on the felted slippers for the contest. My mind is racing with designs, I'm thinking felted intarsia design with embroidery and bead ambitious? Oh, my temp contract with the law firm was extended to the end of May, I told them I was cool with that but I would be gone for 7 days on a trip, I hope that's ok.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Post 144-A Very Good Day

Saturday was the best all over day I have had in a long time, cheap yarn, friends, commraderie, good food, drinks and two celebrity sightings, wow right?

The day started early, really, REALLY, like 7 in the morning early. We in the Windy City Knitting Guild take our yarn serious and when Beth at Lorna's Laces opens the doors to us for a mill end sale and dye tutorial we jump at the chance. The thing is, the doors open at 10 a.m. and she has only enough room for 20 people at a time to come in go through the seconds and purchase, as each person leaves the workshop one more can come it. You don't want to be the last person, not if you're looking for something in particular and you never know what maybe be available. So, if you have a shopping list you want to get in early, hence Rachael and I arriving at 7:30, in time to be numbers 6 and 7 in line with Linda and Adrienne meeting us and getting numbers 8 and 9. For the next two hours we drank desperately needed coffee (I'm not liking Metropolis' French Roast, it was very charred tasting and not at all good and I was very hangry) and bagels at the local coffee shop biding our time and chatting with other knitters with the same game plan. At 10 a.m.-ish we were in and it was fun. Like last year there were a couple of tables piled high with sock yarn.

I knew there was going to be plenty of sock yarn to go around so I bypassed the table for the moment to see what else was available. I did snag a bag of 12 skeins of the Green Line first production yarn (before the line was revamped), which was organic yarn AND organic dye in a lovely red color. I carried it around for awhile then admitted, I did not need it, I have plenty of sweater's worth of yarn from the Knitting Workshop sale and NO! I needed to save as much as possible for Sea Socks and purchases on that trip. So I handed it over to someone else who will give it a good home and walked back to the sock table. Beth was very nice and generous and I asked if she had any of the Grumperina color way mill ends available, and the nice person that she is, found two skeins in sport weight. While not as fine as the shepherd sock it's still perfect for socks and I can't wait to play with it. My haul from the sale:

2 Skeins of Shepherd's Sport in Grumperina~For Sock Consumption

2 Skeins of Shepherd's Sock in One of a Kind, in my mind I call it Bloody Sundae but that sounds bad so how about Mint Chocolate Chip with Cherry Sauce~For Sock Consumption

4 Skeins of Shepherd's Sport in Black Purl, (black being more brown and prettier I think)~Project yarn required for class on Sea Socks Cruise.

Lots of yarn drying and wanting to be adopted by a knitter.

People in line with their haul waiting to pay.

I skipped the dye tutorial, I've already seen it several times, I was tired so I volunteer to watch purses, bags and yarn and take a little nap on the bench in the hallway. If I did see the dyeing it would use these items:

By 11 we were done and very hungry for real food and off we went to Cafe 28? A nice Cuban/Mexican food restaurant in the neighborhood. I ate sorta light, bowl of fruit, bacon and a bit of potatos because Rachael was taking me to Frontera Grill for a belated birthday gift. There was a group of people at a table behind us that I paid no attention to and when they left someone said they though one of the guys was Harold Ramis, yea, from the Ghostbusters a movie I saw when I was 8, he's a local here.

Yup, it was him.

I got a good look at him as they were getting into the car they parked in front and yea, I think it was him, kewl, a celebrity sighting in the wild! The plan was that after the sale to go and hang out with the chickens at Linda's place, but I was tired and needed a nap.

After a little R&R Rachael and I were ready to go. We arrived at Frontera around 6:45-7ish and were told there was a 2 1/2 hour wait, um okay I guess, the food is supposed to be really good so why not, it's Saturday night right? I had a gift certificate to Lettuce Entertain You that was set to expire in a few days so I figured we should go over to Maggiano's and hang out at the bar and have a drink or two. We both had a cocktail and the waiter, knowing it was my b-day gave us both a snifter of GlenLivet because I've never had good whiskey before, apparently my splurge on a bottle of Bushmills was just barely an accept brand. So the drinks were good, I was buzzed, which was good because after waiting forever we finally got a seat at Frontera, at the bar, so we had an appetizer to hold us over.

Art hanging above me at the bar, kinda freaky to look at when you've had a few.

We met some nice people, Rachael talked Motorola, I was buzzed and we were both happy to finally spot Rick Bayless.

I'm a big fan, being a very picky eater, but also a cook, I love to watch his show and how he explains things, he makes me want to try new food, slowly. I have one of his cookbooks that I got signed when he did a visit to Marshall Fields a couple of years ago, I used to work for a coffee company that specially roasts coffee for him, and a neighbor on the other side of the alley does his graphic designs.
The meal was yummy perfection (we got seated at 9:45-yes 3 hours later from when we arrived and it took less than 10 minutes for our food to come, actually, it felt like 5 minutes really), I had chicken in tortillas with mole, which ties roasted chicken ravioli w/pink sauce as my most favorite dish in the world. When we were seated it was at a 4 seater bar by the kitchen, good for people watching and such, not the best was waiter attentiveness. The people sitting next to us left and then the a seating for two was laid out, with wine and a dish that had ribs, and it sat there for awhile, until Rick Bayless himself and his wife sat down to eat.

What Rick Bayless ate for dinner.

I really wanted my picture with him but there was no good time and I'm not about to interrupt his meal, how rude. So, I can't wait to go back, but will either arrive earlier or have reservations.

So, yes it was a very good day

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Post 143-On My Mind

Well I must be excited about the up coming Sea Socks cruise because I've been having some interesting dreams lately. Dream 1, all I remember is that I'm on the cruise, outside on the boat taking pictures only to realize I forgot my memory card for the camera, I guess that would count as a nightmare right? Dream 2, actually takes place in Greece,(haven't been there so go figure) and all I remember is standing outside the boat one again and I'm looking at all the islands and shoreline and the water was really REALLY blue. Strange.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Post 142-Ritual

Solitude is a good thing as is creating simple rituals. One of my favorite is the observation of my b-day. I do not look to my friends to make is special, it really is a day that is only special to me. Given my tragic family history, I realized this year that is better that I accept the occasion for what it is, face it myself and create my own ritual.

I admit at first I was supposed to go out to eat with some neighbor friends but they could not make it at the last minute and given that all my friends where out of town at the same time (freakish occurrence) I faced the music and celebrated with myself. After work I went over to the Merz's Appothocary in Field's, um, Macy's, and picked up some rose scented bath beads. Later in the evening after getting over a little I feel sorry for myself depression, I got off my ass and decided I should buy my own birthday cake like I did last year and went over to Whole Foods to pick one out.

I was lucky that they had my favorite little vanilla cake still available in the bakery late in the evening, so with that I splurged and bought a rose scented soy candle candle (I love the rose scent, it's perfect when your melancholy). After getting the cake and candle I realized I was hungry and should probably eat dinner. I like to play these little mind games with myself, and I said if I drive by my favorite restaurant and can find meter parking then it's meant to be that I eat there, and it was! How lucky was I to find an empty meter right in front of my most favorite restaurant in Chicago on a Friday night on the corner of Halsted and Armitage, my luck was changing and my evening was getting better. Even better was that the pasta place had for their special Roasted Chicken Ravioli in a Gorgonzola pink sauce, absolute yumminess, it really made my evening.

Afterward I went home, had a nice hot bath (I forgot how good they are and wow, bath beads make your skin feel so soft!), put on my favorite nightgown and robe, lit my candle, had a slice of cake and a tumbler of Bailey's, popped in Pride and Prejudice and knitted on the Rusted Root before falling to sleep.

It turned out a nice evening after all and I am very happy to celebrate this stupid day by myself. Now, should any friends reading this wish to celebrate it belatedly, I would have no problem accept felicitations and gifts in that regard. :)

P.S. My sister Kim's gift card to Lush was used to buy henna hair dye, also part of the new ritual, an effort to disguise my age. And grandma's gift certificate online to Barnes and Nobel was returned (I refuse to buy a book from them online when I can get it cheaper at Amazon, no, seriously, the three knitting books I was going to buy were 20 bucks cheaper on, I swear. Grandma was more than happy that I returned it and complimented me for not wanting to waste the money) So now I have a check from her and she insists I use in on the Sea Socks cruise and buy myself something special.

Oh, also, I got several birthday wishes from people on Ravelry and noticed that they put a little cake icon on your ravetar.