Saturday, June 28, 2008

Summer Projects

Have I mentioned how much happier I am since moving to Oly? I am so happy that I've even begun to get back to my old ways of having little (food-related) projects going on! In fact I've got three different projects going right now! Woohoo! I feel good.

There's the sweater of course, that's one. Knitting is always a good project and the best thing about it is that you can put it down and totally ignore it for a while. I have to admit that I'm not making the headway on my sweater that I should be. Part of the problem (if you can call it that) is that the weather is finally starting to behave! We're getting more sun and more warmth and I loooooove it! For a little while there I was thinking we wouldn't get a summer AT ALL. It's not that summer is my favorite season, autumn is, but how can you enjoy the cool crispness of autumn when you haven't had the sun and heat of summer? It would be impossible. Everything in season.

Then there's the beer. Nico and I stumbled through our first batch of home-brewed beer; a stout. It's bottle aging right now, and in another week we'll take the first taste, but I'm betting it will need longer than just 2 weeks in the bottle. I'm sort of itching to begin a new batch tomorrow, if I make it down to the brew shop to buy ingredients. I've found a bunch of good-looking (extract) stout recipes online, and they all use at least twice the DME our kit came with, so now I'm convinced I need to immediately begin a heftier stout. I can't stand the thought of doing it wrong, you see.

And my third project is that I am back to growing chile peppers! Yayyy! I've got 4 generic types in the ground outside, and then another 4 in pots - 2 jalapeno and 2 cayenne. They've started to make progress since the weather's gotten sunnier.

As you can see, they've still got a ways to go and we're already pretty late into the growing season, but these two at least have begun to flower, and I'm hoping the worm tea will help them make up for lost time.

Worm tea?

Yes, worm tea. This morning my upstairs neighbor gave me some extra worm tea since he noticed I've been growing plants. Imagine - vermiculture in an upstairs apartment! That's pretty hard-core. I've never used the stuff before, but I've heard all about how it's the super-magic-grow-formula for your plants, so how could I resist? The guy also told me that he's trying to drum up support for a community garden to be added to the new city park being built down the street, so I promised him I'd whip up a little letter about that.

Other than that, I've got a couple awesome dinners planned for the weekend. Right now I've got chicken strips marinating and later we'll skewer and grill them, serve them with some fancy-pants rice I'm going to make and some mango salsa. Maybe some sliced avocado and some salad greens too. And margaritas, since it's finally margarita weather. Tomorrow we're going to marinate some skirt steak, which Nico will grill and chop up to make a burrito bar. Yum! I wish we could eat like that every night.

And meanwhile, the books are biding their time.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Wonderful Thing

I got tickets to see Nick Cave in September! This is fantastic. I can indulge my old Seattle fantasy of a sophisticated and sexy nightlife. Maybe. Except that I saw a recent-looking picture of Nick Cave and he had a scary little mustache. Hmm.

And speaking of mustaches, last night I had a work dream where in order to answer someone;s reference question I had to consult Mustaches of the Nineteenth Century. Which would, of course, never happen. I never get patrons or questions that cool.

It is another gray Juneuary day.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Vengeance Deferred and Domestic Interests

So my plan had been to make a vengeful blog post to judgementally lay the smack down on a former Bookman's manager of mine (let's call her... mmm.... Kaia) who apparently got her BA by having her husband write all her damn papers for her. Yes folks, that had been my plan, and it was going to be a long blog post complete with full names and seething rage. But then I got teh intestinal flu all weekend long and I was shown the humility of all mortal flesh and my plans changed.


Now I'd like to talk to you about sweaters and other domestic things. I'd like to talk about my Wicked sweater, in particular. When last you saw my Wicked I had decided to rip it back to the shoulder increases because it was too big. And I did that. And I knit it some more, until I got to a point where I decided that this time around the damn thing was a wee bit tight. So at that point I balled it up in a bag somewhere and focused on packing and moving. Then last week I did what I knew I had to and ripped it back again.

I ripped it all the way back.

I knew that there were things about this sweater I would change from the very beginning, and I decided that if I was going to spend this much time and energy on the damn thing (and let's not forget money; good yarn is es'pensive) then I might as well do it my way from the beginning.

I cast on more stitches than even the largest size called for because I like a wide neck. And then I made the neckband itself narrower so as to be a little comelier. Now I've been working diligently on those shoulder increases, but this time I don't feel strained or impatient. This time I think that perhaps the Wicked and I are reaching an understanding. We are making friends. Last night I tried on what I had and at that point it was still less of a sweater and more of a yoke, I suppose, but I could see that we were headed in the right direction. I am reaching a sort of first-sweater-zen, and the Wicked is my guru.

Also this weekend we had our new mattress and shelves delivered from Ikea. The mattress? King-sized! And after over a month on a full-sized camping air mattress it feels like the height of luxury. Mostly I just want to writhe around on it and make snow angels in the sheets because IT IS THAT BIG! And folks, sometimes bigger is better.

And the shelves? Huge also. They are taller than I am and wider than my wingspan. They look great and they totally dominate our living room, but you know what? Not. Enough. We unpacked all our books yesterday, and most of my books hadn't been unpacked in a year. Now, when we bought the shelves I knew we'd have to double-stack some of our books, because I'm a pessimist and I just knew the shelves wouldn't be big enough. But apparently I'm not enough of a pessimist, because I didn't think that we'd have to double-stack our books on every shelf just to fit them all but that is indeed what we did. We could've bought two of these shelving units and filled them both up. Easily.

Our books outnumber us. They definitely out-weigh us and they might just out-mass us as well. God help us if they ever revolt.