Sunday, July 24, 2005

Books By The Bay

I had to take at least one shot of the book booths. We got there too late for the first panel I wanted to see and the heat drove us away by the time the last panel came around. Yerba Buena Gardens is a lovely oasis of lawn but it is not air conditioned - for the two days every other year you need a/c in SF.

From inside looking at Books By the Bay (I couldn't get any to come out of the panels. Stupid camera phone.

We actually went behind the waterfall because San Francisco was approximately 92,000 degrees farenheit on Saturday (give or take a few zeros) but I'm glad we did. Behind the panels of waterfalls are excerpts from Martin Luther King Jr's speeches and just reading them made me cry, they were so beautiful. Here's how they describe it on their homepage:

The undeniable centerpiece of Yerba Buena Gardens is the 22-foot-high, 50-foot-wide waterfall that leads to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. Behind the waterfall are 12 shimmering glass panels engraved with quotes from Dr. King's writings and speeches, in English with translations in African and Arabic dialects as well as the languages of San Francisco's Sister Cities. The Memorial is anchored with a carved image of Dr. King at one end and an image of San Francisco's community leaders during the 20th anniversary of the March in Golden Gate Park at the other. The Memorial is the first of its kind to truly embrace Dr. King's vision of peace and international unity in the United States. Collaborating artists were sculptor Houston Conwill, poet Estella Majoza and architect Joseph de Pace.

Ran across the street to the SF MOMA - it was close, it was air conditioned and I'm of the belief that if you're ever near any museum - for any reason - you should go in and check it out. I love museums. I just don't appreciate Modern Art. It was kind of cool to see the original self portrait Frida Kahlo painted, and Salavador Dali's paintings (and oh yeah, Diego Rivera). I did like a Matisse of a coffeepot, but that possibly has more to do with my appreciation of all things related to the coffee bean than art.

Sunday I went to the FiberArts market in Oakland - the weather was lovely and it was nice and uncrowded - hopefully not so uncrowded that the vendors didn't do well. I got to meet in person

  • Lisa's Knitwear & Dyeworks
  • and hopefully she'll be able to dye me up a batch that will finally meet my standards for that darn Pi With Sleeves shawl except now I want to make Cherly Oberle's Lacy Prarie Shawl instead....

    In other (fascinating) news, I started reading this on my brother's recommendation and I am really enjoying it. It's about an archaelogist, Nathan Swift, who gets seduced by his unscrupulous partner's sister and conceives a child with her. The partner uses this to talk him into looting the Golgotha ruins (basically the scene of Jesus's crucifixion) of skeletons and vials of tears and blood (hermetically sealed - in the year zero, by Egyptian methods of those days) after a devastating earthquake.

    Anyway, some rich shipping magnate gets a hold of a vial and unleashes a plague. The rest of the story involves cloning, a 19 year old genius in Los Alamos, NM, Nathan's odyssey to find his daughter in a ravaged world after the worst of betrayals ....and luckily for you all, I haven't finished it or I would undoubtedly ruin the ending for you. But I am surreptitiously reading it at my desk.

    Monday, July 18, 2005


    Tons of stuff to do this weekend! First up there's the Fiber Arts Fair in Oakland, at least it runs Friday through Sunday. Saturday is the only day Books By The Bay will be held. In the interests of efficiency, I should run to Oakland and then out to SF because the panel I want to see the most is in the afternoon anyway, and Saturday early, early, should be the best time to go to the market, but parking in SF after noon? Driving into The City will be bad enough. I could take BART, but as much as TPTB would love for us all to abandon our cars, if you live in the suburbs, public transportation sucks. I'd probably wait an hour at each BART station just for the next train.

    There was something else going on Saturday, but I can't remember what it was.

    Stitchmarkers that match my Project!

    Are those not adorable? And they even match the Valentine Stole which you probably can't tell because camera phones suck.

    TabbyTuxedo from Knitting the Classics made these, and the ones in the box above. She also made a set w/black beads but I was so discouraged at trying to get a picture that had color and clarity I gave up snapping it. You can get some from her at TabbyTuxedoand she has better pictures. We met at our local Starbucks last Sunday so I could meet her and buy those darling stitchmarkers she made. Now we just need to make it to the local Stitch n Bitch meeting. One of these days.

    In way less exciting news, I've been walking around like a zombie that wants a nap.(Possibly PMS figures into this, but.....) I think yesterday was about the first day I didn't feel like curling up wherever I was and nodding off. I hate summer. To really enjoy it out here, you need to live on the Bay, the Delta, or have a pool in your backyard, otherwise it's just hot. Too hot to go outside, so I'm stuck in the house with the a/c on. If I was at my picture taking weight, I'd also be at my Summer Clothes weight too and I really hate to buy new clothes that I hope to heave asap.

    I'm stuck on Wives & Daughters. Read a couple more chapters but I just can't get into it. Hopefully the next reading out I will, in the meantime I picked up Matt Tabbai's Spanking The Donkey. Funny stuff, backstage with the the last Presidential election candidates. He wrote some of the pieces for The Nation and the Rolling Stone. I really have to stop watching Book TV, my library and my pocketbook can't take many more hardbacks.

    Oh, and what is with those stupid trade paperbacks? Lovely that they are bigger than a regular paperback and cheaper than hardback, but not much bigger and not much cheaper. Not to mention that it would be nice to have a book that fits in my purse where I could also carry my wallet and a lipstick. I can't help but think that the book publishing industry feared that the reading pool is shrinking (and is that really happening? Really?) and hit on a way of making up a shortfall.

    So. Anybody read anything interesting lately? Any good new books out? What? Harry who? Did you hear that HP made more money than Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and (some other movie) did opening weekend? Yowza. Who says no one reads anymore?

    Wednesday, July 13, 2005

    Sunflower Sunshine

    For something that I thought was a weed, it certainly is beautiful. I love sunflowers too! I've got a needlepointed sunflower, a huge picture of sunflower and roses and still. Do not recognize one without the blossom. Figures.

    In knitting news, still making Miss Dashwood, although the bonnet part is done! Just the earflaps and the ties are left and you'd think I'd do them because they'll take like five minutes (okay, maybe more) but that is Not My Way. Oh no. I had to pick up the fan and feather scarf for the Valentine Tank from White Lies Design that is evidently going to take me eight million years to finish. Especially if I keep picking it up and putting it down.

    My mom and I went to a Minature Dollhouse Furniture Show in Millbrae last Saturday, and wow! A hobby that is conceivably more expensive than knitting. Plus, teensy tiny stuff is just so darn cute. Here are some pics from the show.

    That tiny pattern laid out on the sewing table is what I really like. That and the costumes.

    I've always wanted a bed like that, but now I would fear dust and bugs. Oh, the lost romance and innocence of girlhood.

    Even a garden shed!

    You can never have too many purses.

    Sunday, July 10, 2005

    Miss Dashwood, I presume?

    All the dpn's bristling from that tiny, tiny bonnet? I had no stitch markers with me but I did have about 8 dpn's for some weird reason. Granted, my purse has always resembled Mary Poppin's bag (you need a lamp? Here! Scissors? Of course. Bandaids? Naturally. And doesn't everyone carry a little sewing kit?)

    The only real problem I had with this pattern was that I was knitting it fairly tightly and knitting 4 stitches tog, or 3 through tbl was impossible until I finally figured out I needed to switch to a needle two sizes smaller.

    Darn! No completed bonnet albeit sans earmuffs and ties. I must have run out of room in my phone. And doesn't that sound weird? I couldn't imagine why anyone would carry a phone (a 24/7 tether is what it sounded like to me) and now I can't imagine life without it.

    Saturday, July 09, 2005

    Wednesday, July 06, 2005

    Small Town Parade

    Granted, Clayton isn't really a small town in the truest sense of the word, but the parade is. It's lots of kids, dogs and adults dressed in red, white and blue marching down the two block Main St mixed in with floats (okay, decorated trucks for the most part).

    It also had the Kung Fu Academy (that's their dragon) with the kids performing katas, the library (the Dungeons, Dragons and Dreams truck float, the Boy Scouts, three or four stables with their horse and riders in Spanish costume, normal jockey clothes (to me, although, admittedly, I am basing that on my recollection of what Jackie O wore when she went riding), Jazzercisers jazzercizing behind a Mustang that I really want (blasting Mustang Sally, cooly enough), some Gunslingers and Lawmen, the E Vitas Clampas crew (which I probably have wrong)and some nice, nice old cars. It hasn't changed that much since I was a kid in the 70's.

    In knitting news - I'm pretty much where I was when the weekend started. I did read Kage Baker's The Light of the World To Come, another book in her Mendoza the Botanist series. It's about a human girlchild turned into an immortal cyborg (one of many) by the mysterious Dr. Zeus to become a Preserver, a time traveler to rescue artifacts before recorded historical natural disasters destroy them. She'd fallen in love with Nicolas in the 16th Century, only to have him die a martyrs death in front of her, then met his virtual twin in the 1800's (Edward), only to have him die in a similar fashion.

    Now punished by being sent back 100,000 years on Catalina Island, (because she tried to save Edward) another man who looks like Nicolas and Edward lands on her deserted shore. This is more his story than hers, but I can't wait for the whole thing to unfold. Next book due out in October 2005.

    Sunday, July 03, 2005

    Miss Dashwood

    Cute edging, isn't it? The spaghetti ball on the right is what I frogged last night. Do you know what I did? I am such an idiot. The picot edging makes little groups of 3, so I was casting on for 180 stitches, except? 90 groups of 3? More than 180. No wonder it was so huge! And to think, I make my living with numbers. However, In the Real World, I have a new fangled contraption called a calculator.

    (Please do not point out to me that 60 x 3 is easily multiplied to equal 180 without the use of higher technology than evidently, my IQ. I'm sensitive.)

    Stargate SG1, Children of the Gods (the pilot for the series) was clearly for HBO and was desperate to ape the movies. I don't know about the Stargate movie, but the movies in general because the music was freaking loud and the dialog? Whispered. What is with that? (Okay, maybe not technically whispered, but a whole lot softer than the music. I've never played with my volume control so much. I might be a bit of a noise phobic.)

    Saturday, July 02, 2005

    Got Zucchini?

    Heck, yeah, I do. I've already tried two new recipes, one just because it called for 2 pounds of the stuff and anything that uses two pounds of zucchini right now is awesome. It actually was pretty good since it also had cheddar cheese, bacon and sour cream in it making that whole Good For You Vegetable thing it had going kind of gone, but whateveh.

    I would show a lovely picture of the Miss Dashwood baby bonnet I'm knitting, the picot edging cast on is adorable, but alas. For once I was going to follow the pattern to the color but did I pick up Debbie Bliss's Cashmerino Aran? I did not. I picked up Debbie Bliss's Cashmerino. A small but crucial difference.

    So, instead of doing something boring like making a gauge swatch in the round, I just decided to make the the largest size and hope that it would fit a baby that wasn't a preemie. Apparently it would have fit me but alas. I managed to twist it when I joined it, so there goes yesterday's knitting and here comes today's attempt. I'll do progress shots so you can see the idiot mistakes I'm making long before I figure them out.

    Haven't started Wives & Daughters yet, but I did pick up Kage Baker's latest Mendoza novel, The Life of the World To Come.

    Neither Blockbuster and Hollywood Video had Stargate SG1's prior seasons except for the first three episodes. I can't decide if it would be cheaper to rejoin Netflix or just buy them. Not all at once. That kind of cash outlay is reserved for yarn, or purchasing a new house, or a car or something like that.

    Stargate. Hated the movie. Hated it. Of course, I did go see it at 10pm (back when it came out) and that's kind of my bedtime, so possibly cranky sleepiness might have figured into it, but love the series. And there are like 8 seasons of it already! No waiting for a month for some dribbling little nothing secret (looking at you, Lost). Just hours and hours of obsessive television viewing. Lovely.

    Except. National Holiday. Barbeques. Pool parties. Pancake breakfasts, parades and booths. Sing alongs! I love singalongs, especially when there are enough people to drown me out which there wasn't in church this morning. Plus, guest organist and he played everything slow and high. It sounded like Minnie Mouse singing a dirge and it gave me a headache. Gah.

    Oh and the epistle lesson?(Romans. ergo, Paul.) I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate, I do. (Or as Frank Sinatra would say "doo bee doo be do dooo dooo bee.) And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. (Does that make sense? What if he did what he what he wanted to do? He agree the law turns bad?) As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. (Me too, Paul. Or I as Flip Wilson would say "The Devil made me do it!)

    Going to Hell. All those Sundays in church don't stop my mind from whirling this kind of stuff through it. I like church. I like being a Lutheran. (I hate that stupid gladhanding before the service though. I go late).

    I don't think I could not believe in God if He told me Himself He didn't exist. But does that mean I don't see how evolution (might) work? No, it doesn't. Do I think that means Evolution can't possibly have happened? Why not? It sure looks like it did. Am I supposed to act like I have all the answers and that I know something no one else does? How am I supposed to do that? I hate when people find out I go to church and then expect me to be all preachy or judgmental. (Oh, I'm judgmental all right. But that has more to do with three lousy marriages than going to church all my life).

    Friday, July 01, 2005

    Don't you need a license to drive?

    Or some semblance of common sense? I had some truck tailgating me so closely this morning on my way into work, I could see he needed a shave.

    Now I am the kind of person who will move over and get the hell out of your way if you want to drive faster than I do. (I'm also the kind of person will undoubtedly point and laugh at your burning crashed car down the road, but hey, at least I let you by.) If, however, there are approximately one billion cars on the road, all going virtually the same speed there is nothing you or I can do. I don't want to drive 30 miles an hour in a 40 mile zone either, so GET OFF MY ASS.

    And here is a lovely, glowing eyed picture of my cat NOT staring at me in the mirror but actually turning her back to it. Usually she pretends to ignore me, only for me to realize - she's staring at me in the mirror. She loves mirrors, the vain thing.

    Lovely Cable, isn't it?

    I wish I would finish the darn thing. I've got the sleeves done (this is the front) and at some point in the last couple of years I decided to rib the back - uh, no. It looked moronic, so I frogged it. Now I have part of the back to do, and then the collar and then sewing it up. I worked on it in a frenzy in December so that I wouldn't go another year - but there it is. Undone. And in another year. So have I picked it up lately? I have not.

    I bought more yarn. Debbie Bliss cashmerino (I think). The baby blanket is no way no how going to be done in two weeks (when said baby is due) so I'm going for baby bonnet/baby booties instead. So this lovely 3-day Fourth of July weekend, I will be knitting feverishly. (Indooors. With Air Conditioning. 90 degrees is revolting).

    I did finish Middlemarch last night. Just in the nick of June.