Saturday, December 31, 2011

About Us

Went to California for Xmas instead of Wisconsin to see the in-laws.  Started in San Francisco for a few days and drove down the Pacific Coast Highway to Los Angeles, with a stop in Cambria half way on Christmas Eve.  Lovely trip with lots of knitting time.  I took my topdown raglan sweater to work on.  I started with a pattern, then modified it to add stitches in the bust but went too far and now it's all wonky. I modified the neckline too.

So, I have downloaded the Raglanify app onto my iPhone, entered my gauge from the non-wonky part of the sweater and will cast on sometime in the new year.

Currently my knitting rotation is:
Sister and Brother-in-Law's blanket.
Husband's blanket.
Baby Sweater for Husband's secretary (instead of the blanket).
My sweater or new baby blanket.  Not sure yet but that will be the project for Jan 1, 2012

Also my project for the new year is getting the adoption going.  We met with the consulting agency last week and they gave us feedback on the profile booklet we're putting together for birthmothers.

We've nearly finished the homestudy part where a social worker assesses our suitability as prospective parents, in an "objective" way.  This included criminal background checks, assessing our financial situation, visiting our home, getting letters of recommendation, and medical exam.  I understand wanting some minimum level of suitability, and am sure we meet or exceed all of them, but wonder how much leeway would be given to a poor couple, or a couple with health problems.

The profile booklet is much more subjective.  This is where we introduce ourselves to the birthmothers, describe where we live, what we do, how we live, our families and friends.  We spend the vacation taking pictures of ourselves as a happy couple, being careful to crop out any beer or wine glasses, and not cutting up like we usually do.

Putting this profile booklet is like posting on this blog or on Facebook.  Which sides of ourselves do we show?  We want to present ourselves as competent people, a happy couple, and fun-loving but not outrageous.

These booklets are given to the birthmoms and from these 15 to 20 pages of words and pictures, she decides whether or not we are the people she wants raising her child.

No pressure.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Managing projects

Not a great picture, but these are the knitting projects I'm focusing on now.

Three of them are gifts and are getting varying degrees of attention. So I decided to rotate them.  Everyday, I will work on one and then the next, work on another, and then the next day another, etc.  Some days I get more knitting in than others, so this should ensure that they all get some progress.  Especially the sloggy projects. 

I started this weekend and this is how it's shaking out so far.

Sat: started the Baby Blanket for Husband's secretary, who's due in February.  (Lower right)
Yarn:  Various worsted weight cotton and superwash wool yarns, held double.
Needle:  US 10 (6mm)
Construction:  Center out, stockingnette and garter stitches.

Sun:  Husband's Blanket (lower left)
Yarn: various worsted weight wool (not superwash, I don't know what I was thinking), black and pastel colors, held double.
Needle: US 10 (6mm)
Construction:  Using the Chinese Coin quilt pattern, but in stockingnette stitch

Mon: Sister and Brother-in-Law's Blanket (upper left)
Yarn: Various worsted weight superwash wool yarns in shades of blue and natural, held double.
Needle: US 10 (6mm)
Construction:  Cast on 200 stitches, random stockingnette stripes

Tue:  Sweater for me (upper right)
Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed, DK weight
Needle: US 6 (4mm)
Construction:  Top down, funnel neck, raglan sleeves, stockingnette stitch.

Wed: back to the Baby Blanket
Thur: Husband's Blanket

and so on.

I just started this on Saturday, so we'll see how long I manage this. 

One snafu already: what will be my portable knitting?  So far, the DK weight sweater is still at a size and stage that is portable, and I'm going to a reading tonight, a lunch with a friend tomorrow, and an HOA meeting Wed night.  So I'll probably take the sweater for those days, and thus wrecking my knitting schedule already.

Option: Take the sweater out of the rotation, use it only as portable knitting.  Then add it to the rotation when it gets too big to be portable.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Neil deGrasse Tyson is Awesome

I recently saw the 80 minute video of Stephen Colbert, as himself, interviewing Neil deGrasse Tyson.  The talk was wide-ranging, funny, thoughtful, touching, and just really enjoyable. 

If you like or care about science, science fiction, pop culture, education, exploration, history, and eloquence, definitely go watch it at

The part where he talked about how we are part of the universe, just like the planets and stars are, means that we, too, are made of star-stuff, brought tears to me eyes. 

Neil deGrasse Tyson is awesome.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Japanese and Taiwanese Craft Books

The crochet books are from Japan, the Katchwork book is from Taiwan.  The book at the lower left is from Japan but I bought the Chinese language translated version in Taiwan.

My favorite book is the lower left, by the collective Knot.  Below are the 2 pieces that made me want to buy the book:

And this picture makes me want to dress like this:
The pieces are simple crocheted bits made with DMC embroidery thread, combined in ways I hadn't thought of.

The book with the red flower is full of crocheted flowers.  And I got it for the red flower on the cover.

Below is the hat that I got the pale crocheting book for:
Here's the pattern for it:
It is highly, highly unlikely that I'll make this hat.

Below is the Avril yarn company retail section at the Handicrafts department of a department store in the Shinsaibashi shopping area of Osaka, Japan.  The yarn is sold by the gram off the cones. 
Here's the wool yarn I bought there:
The Katchwork book is written by a woman named Kat who was inspired by American quilts of the 1930s (really, 1920 to 1950s).  There are instructions for making American scrap quilts as well at items like these below.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Out and about in Hsinchu

So, I am in Hsinchu, Taiwan, for a kind of impromptu family reunion.  Above is the Eastern Gate in downtown Hsinchu, back when it was a walled town centuries ago.  Now it's the center of a traffic island.  There's a park behind it that one uses an underground pedestrian way to access it.

Sister and Husband in Law have been planning to come here for a while.  Brother One is already here with our parents  Then Brother Two decided to go.  That would leave me as the only one in my family not going!  So 2 weeks ago, I confered with Husband and bought a ticket.

So Sunday we celebrated our 12th anniversary :), and a few days later I left him for a 2 week vacation :(.  Husband couldn't get away like I could.

Below is a picture of the track for the light rail righ outside the back door, connecting our neighborhood near the Science Park (Taiwan's Silicon Valley) to the Hsinchu train station of the high speed rail line that runs from Taipei in the north to Kaoshung in the south.  Now, it would take only 2 hours to traverse the island.
That used to be just rice paddies int he back, but now there's a lot of new development.

Yesterday, the Brothers and I wandered downtown Hsinchu, and I came across a fabric shop.  Bought a few feet of a bunch of different fabrics for the quilt stash.

Today, going to the yarn shop in the neighborhood where I bought my first supplies when I learned to knit in home economic class in 1987 :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Wow. It's been a month since I've posted on the blog. However, I've been tweeting a lot more. So.
I'm on the last book of the series that began with Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve. The original protagonists, Tom and Hester, were teens in the first books and in books 3 and 4, they've had a daughter, Wren, who's now a teen, having adventures with other teens and adults. So still teen friendly.
The war between the Municipal Darwinists (who believe that it's natural evolution that entire cities are mounted on gigantic wheels and roam around trading with or eating other cities, towns, suburbs, etc.) and Anti=Tractionists (who believe that cities should be static and stay put) continues.
I've been cranking away on blankets as I read. A garter stitch Baby Moderne-esque Log Cabin for a friend. Husband's City Lights blanket. A blanket for Sister and her Husband.
Finished the baby blanket. Going to look for a new project soon. Something portable, something 1 skein-ish. Maybe simple lace. I'd like to do a chunky lace on size 11s or something. But that's hardly portable. Perhaps I should cruise Ravelry a bit...

Friday, September 16, 2011

Steampunk Novels -- Sept 2011

The books I've really enjoyed so far this month:

1. Heartless by Gail Carriger -- the 4th in the Parasol Protectorate series, set in Victorian England about Alexia Tarabotti who has no soul which gives her power over werewolves and vampires. At one point, I had to tweet the author about her great plotting and characters. Within a few pages, Ms. Carriger threw in a red herring; revealed the truth about a doomed love affair that broke my heart; a flirtation between two minor characters that were in character that made me cringe; then broke my heart again with 2 other characters. So well done!
2. Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve -- the first of a 4 book series in a post-apocalyptic Earth far in the future where cities are built in tiers and mounted on wheels where they roam around hunting and eating other cities and towns. They call it Municipal Darwinism. They're opposed by the Anti-Tractionists who believe that cities should be stationary. Very inventive and fun.

I've pre-ordered Goliath by Scott Westerfeld, the 3rd in the Leviathan series. It's set during WWI between the Darwinists (genetic engineering) and the Clankers (steampowered machines with legs instead of wheels).

What these all have in common are action, adventure, and romance.

Another book was A Life in Stitches by Rachael Herron, aka Yarn-a-go-go. It's a series of essays about her life, really the important people and events in her life, that have knitted pieces associated with them. For example, her quest to knit her own wedding dress, but really it's about her wedding to Lala and what weddings and marriage are really about. Another book that mad me smile and tear-up. Lovely book.

So far, September's been full of good books.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Dragon*Con 2011 and water damage

Husband and I went for the second time this year, which was also D*C's 25th anniversary.

There are tons of pictures on the web, on Flickr, How Stuff Works, CNN, etc. I didn't take many pictures myself, unfortunately.

When it began, I wanted to go to sessions about Whedon, Dr. Who, Writing, and Alternate History/steampunk and Silk Road, the "Asian" track. For the first time this year there was a Dragon*Con app, which was so cool! With a few clicks, I could add the sessions I wanted to attend to my iPhone calendar. I double, triple, quadruple booked myself for nearly every time slot.

What I actually made it to:

  • A few steampunk panels, including one about Steampunk and Orientalism, a term that makes me cringe. However, the panelist was very clear that it was a very Eurocentric term to include anything East and South of Europe. One person asked for recommendations for steampunk books set in Asia. The panelist said he couldn't think of any that are available in English.

  • A reading by Jammy Wurtz. I want to broaden my reading horizons and picked that reading randomly. She gave out copies of her 4th book in a series of 7 to newbies. I was the only newbie. That one was alright. I wish I went to the author that preceded her; sounds like she wrote romance fantasy/sci-fi. Good thing I can look her up on the app or paper schedule.

  • A fan panel where Snape, the Winter Queen from Narnia, and another villian explained their side. Was the weakest of the panels I went to, but they can't all be gems.

  • Urban survival in case of zombies -- now I know what the Y2K survivalists are doing. Husband suggested that I take a class on how to use a shotgun. Hmmm.

  • Market trends in sci-fi/fantasy -- It was an interesting peek into the business side of publishing.

Spent a lot of time wandering the exhibits. Didn't buy anything. Other than the cost of the membership, my money went to food and drink. A lot of drink. Which is kind of why I missed a lot of the sessions.

Another reason I missed alot of panels: the night before Dragon*Con started, some of the sprinklers in our condo building malfunctioned, spewing water. So I had to stay and take care of that with the maintenance people, calling insurance (which could not find our policy at first), etc.

All in all, however, it was a great time. Definitely thinking of going again next year. Thinking of making a little Jayne hat as a fascinator or headband. I'm not one for dressing up but would like to let my geek flag fly a little. Let's see what's on Etsy....

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Progress of all sorts

Finished sewing the pink border to the blue field of the 5 year quilt. Here's the cat using the quilt top as a bed. Next up, sewing on the yellow border, then shopping for orange fabric for the binding, something for the back, and the batting.
Here's the roll of blue Kaffe Fassett fabrics, partly laid out. Was watching Season One of Warehouse 13 while doing this.
Speaking of Syfy, I've really been into Alphas. I think I've mentioned before that I like how the show starts by just dropping the viewer into the story -- there are people with powers (called Alphas), there's a team of Alphas headed up by a non-Alpha that works for the US gov't, and they work to solve crimes that may or may not involve Alphas.

Part of the mythology is dangerous Alphas are sent to be imprisoned in a special facility in Binghamton, NY; the US gov't doesn't like that there are Alphas, and there's a rebel group of Alphas called Red Flag that is agitating for the right to live freely and not be hunted down by the gov't.

I've also been using MyFitnessPal app to track calories in, calories out. In the 3 weeks I've used it, I've lost 4 lbs, then gained back 2. Plus exercising more. Dang I'm tired. However, in the long run, it'll be good for me.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Fabric shopping

I can see the end of the tunnel with piecing the 5-year quilt top. So I went to Intown Quilters to see if they do finishing work. They don't but did refer me to people who can.

Quilt shops are like yarn shops. All the colors! All the possibilities!

I first went to Hancock Fabrics where I picked up the quarters. I'm consistently drawn to bright colors. I thought about getting some different kinds of colors too, but none of them spoke to me.

Then I stopped at Intown Quilters and picked up the roll of 20 Kaffe Fassett fabrics bundled in 2.5 inch strips. I so want to start a new project and have many in mind. Once I get the 5 year quilt off for finishing....

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Winding wool

Spent some time today winding wool. I had wound up one skein of the Plymouth Kudo and started a summer scarf. Gonna try one of those infinity loops all the kids are wearing these days.

And for the fun of it, I wound up the other balls of Kudo yarn I got last week.

Then I wound up some fingering weight yarn I've had for a while.

The green is one is Toasty Toes by Numma Numma in the Pepper Jelly colorway. To be combined with the blue/green cashmere/merino blend of something or other. Lost the ball band.

The black/purple is the Raven colorway from ... forgot already. Possibly to be combined with the Madeline Tosh light in the Tangelo colorway.

Monday, August 1, 2011

New fave author: N. K. Jemisin

It started a few months ago. I saw a tweet by Felicia Day (a pop culture geek goddess, though I've only ever seen her Whedonverse work) recommending it, especially for the strong female characters. The first book of Jemisin's Inheritance Series trilogy, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, happened to be on sale as an e-book for about $3 so I bought it. See a tweet, download an e-book from home. I felt like I was living in the future!

Jemisin's created a very interesting world where there are gods, godlings, humans, power struggles, love, hate, action, wisdom. I guess it would count as fantasy, as there is magic, coming from the gods. In terms of plot, there was a war among the three gods that resulted in one god becoming dominant, another killed, and the third enslaved to the human ruling family.

Yeine, the heroine of book one, has been summoned to the capitol because she's in the running to inherit the ruling crown (not that there's a literal crown). She's been raised in another part of the country/ another kingdom where the women are the warriors. Her claim to the crown comes from her mother who left the capitol and married a man from a different culture. So Yeine has lots of challenges due to a different cultural upbringing, being the upstart, being the reluctant participant in the intrigues among the humans and gods.

Up to the end, it's not clear who's going to get the crown and what's going to happen to Yeine.

Jemison does a great job describing the different cultures and ethnicities of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (we only really see one), by describing hair texture and color, describing freckles, skin color. And I love that Yeine is a strong female character (as is Oree, heroine of the second book The Broken Kingdoms), and they don't resort to physical violence. Yeine, the trained warrior, uses her head first to figure things out, and to think about the consequences of using violence. I know! When's the last time you saw that?

Also, it's clear that Yeine is of a brown ethnicity and Oree definitely of African descent. Except that the Kingdoms aren't on earth, so there's no Africa.

NK Jemisin's website is really interesting also, with posts about gender and race in speculative fiction (new term for sci-fi/fantasy? I like it) and creating cultures for the books, and other stuff. It's right up my alley.

Stayed up late reading book 2, so happy book 3 is out later this year.

Now off to look up the manga and anime she references as her influences.

ETA: This morning I sent a tweet to @feliciaday, thanking her for the recommendation and tagged @nkjemisin in it as well. Then at lunch, I get a tweet back from FDay saying she's glad I liked the books, do I know when the next one is out? *squeeeeee!* So I looked it up on NKJ's site and wrote back to FDay. I may also have squeed a little. Fortunately in the tweet back saying thanks for the info, FDay overlooked the squeeage.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Plymouth Kudo

Went to NeedleNook yarn shop in Atlanta, meaning only to get some needles and a project bag. It's soon time for the annual Husband's family reunion and I need something to keep the yarn organized.

Well, I walked out with the above as well, except for the red skein of Kudo on the bottom, which I got last year. I seem to have a thing for Plymouth Kudo and I haven't even knitted anything at all with it. But they're so pretty! I'll find a use someday. The grey and red/white/blue Kudo skeins will be made into a shawlette or something. The yellow into...?

Kudo: 198 yds. Size US 7 needles. Cotton/Rayon/Silk

The red and grey skeins of Panda yarn will be made into the Pretty Twisted cuffs by Cat Wong at Knitty.

The grey Cotton Classic will be added to the cotton crochet blanket.

On the other hand, most of these things were on sale.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Deathly Hallows Pt 2 tonight

Am going to the midnight showing tonight of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. Am really looking forward to it; have been trying to avoid spoilers, unlike in the past. Will also bring kleenex. It'll be the end of ... not an era, but a huge end. I've been a fan of the books from the start and will be sad to see it end.

Will have to give Pottermore a look later on.

Progress on the 5 year quilt

As I posted before, I'm motivated to finish my 5 year quilt. I have started sewing the pink border to the blue/green field. I like the contrast of the the neat seams w/ the raw edges.

The label says [row] 27, bottom, 353 to 358. This means it's row 27 of pink diamonds, it goes along the bottom of the quilt (the picture's upside down), and it's the row of diamonds #353 to 358. Out of a total of 469 pink diamonds. And there are 238 blue/green diamonds.

I had originally cut out green diamonds to go around the pink, and then finish with yellow half and quarter diamonds. Depending on how I feel when the pink to blue joining is done, I may skip the green and just go to yellow.

Have not decided on what to do about the back yet. Need to know how big the top ends up being first.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Thinking about love and marriage

So New York State has finally legalized gay marriage. Finally people who love each other can get married and have that union be recognized and protected.

Made me think of the Supreme Court decision of Loving v. Virginia, decided on June 12, 1967, that made interracial marriage legal. This was decided before my husband and I were even born and thus by the time we got married, it was not a legal or social struggle.

I also woke up to the news on Saturday that a friend's husband, dealing with cancer, passed away. As a wife who really, really loves her husband, it broke my heart to think of my friend without hers.

And so happy that I got to spend all of Saturday with Husband. I tell him everyday that I love him, that I think he's the best part of my life, of how much I appreciate what he does for us. As I think about my newly-widowed friend, it breaks my heart all over again.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sibling Reunion 2011 and Buffy rewatch

This month, Brother One came to the US from Taiwan for a visit. As a legal permanent resident but not a citizen of Taiwan, he is required to leave Taiwan once a year. As a citizen of the US, he decided to come to the US. He's stateside about 3 weeks and staying with me and friends in Atlanta for about 2 weeks of that time.

It was also Brother Two's birthday this Monday, so we all met up at Sister's place in the DC area. Brother One and I drove from Atlanta to Sister's. Brother Two took the bus from NYC to DC and Sister picked him up.

Sister lives in a one bedroom 800 sq ft condo with her husband. It's a good thing we were only there 2 full days.

Much of that time was spent eating (Korean BBQ, Papa John's pizza, Popeye's fried chicken, Maryland blue crab -- things Brother One missed about the US) and playing mahjongg while eating snack foods and drinking beer. It was great.

Sister's husband was working.

On the drive up, I borrowed Ananci Boys by Neil Gaiman on CDs to listen to in the car. I had also loaded American Gods by Gaiman onto my iPhone, but that didn't work so well.

When we got back to Atlanta, Brother One and I unwound by beginning the Buffy the Vampire Slayer rewatch, by watching the first 2 episodes of Season One: Welcome to the Hellmouth and The Harvest.

Topics of conversation during our reunion:
sexism, gender discrimination, the Supreme Court decision striking down the sex-discrimination case against Walmart, what our parents are doing, racism, comic books, air guitar (Brother Two has been competing), and of course, eating.

Sister and Brother-in-law's first anniversary is coming up so I offered to knit them a blanket. I took a Knitpicks catalog to get their input about colors. They (really, Sister) choose medium blue, dark red, and cream. The pattern and size I will figure out. I will start with using the superwash worsted weight that I have set aside for the Babette Blanket and then fill in from there.

We also went to Uniquities yarn shop in Tysons Corner. I got Brother Two a skein of superwash worsted weight yarn from Lorna's Laces in blue, green, black to make him a scarf, and one skein each of superwash worsted weight yarn in light grey and tealish blue. Not sure what I'll do with it yet, but they were so pretty together.

Since we were driving, I packed a lot of yarn. Half my luggage was yarn: for Husband's City Quilt blanket, a brimmed sunhat for me, and my portable-ish shawl.

All in all it was a great reunion.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Carnaby skirt

Pattern: Carnaby skirt from
Started March 1, 2011, finished June 13, 2011.

It's written as a mini-skirt, but I lengthened it. Cast on 120 stitches instead of 80.
Used fingering weight linen yarn held double on size US 5 needles, instead of worsted weight on US 8.
Yarn was from a former friend's mother's stash.
Used all 18 (?) skeins of yarn, including the swatch.
Added a draw string, to help keep it up.
The button holes were 4 stitches wide, but should have been 3.
Wooden buttons bought from Hancock Fabric.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


So yesterday, there was an article at the Wall Street Journal called Darkness Too Visible that complains that contemporary young adult novels have too much violence.

There are so many things wrong with this article. My thoughts:

1. Violence, depravity, bullying, abuse, molestation, cutting, child prostitution, exploitation, incest -- it all does happen to kids. Writing about this and showing how kids can, or might not, survive it is a good thing. Not writing about it doesn't make it go away.
2. There's a tweet explosion using the #YAsaves, where people tweet about how young adult fiction has helped them cope with the issues in their lives, or giving them compassion for others. There's a slideshow of them at the WSJ site.
3. The Hunger Games = the daily survival of bullying, abuse, and/or poverty that millions of kids deal with in real life.
4. Judy Blume, who the article author holds up as a good example of YA writing, doesn't support the article's premise.
5. There's a sidebar of books the article writer does approve of, and it's offered as a list of books for boys and a list for girls. headdesk.
6. The kids reading these books lived through Sept 11, 2001. They know bad things happen.

I have not suffered any of these terrible things that the children and teens in these books survive. I think the article is more about parents wanting, wishing they could shield their kids from bad things; parents wishing the world wasn't a place where bad things could happen to their children.

Afterall, the article doesn't even interview actual young adult readers.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Last week, Husband and I went to Seattle, Washington. I was very excited about going, since I had never been to the Northwestern United States. Other reasons: catching up with friends who live in Seattle, including my friend Natasha who writes the blog Maven on the Move, see sidebar. And there's yarn shops! Lots and lots of yarn shops.

Above is the the Seattle Space Needle seen from the base. Note the characteristic overcast sky.

Husband had to be there for work, I was there for fun. When Husband was doing his work thing I walked around the downtown area. Which is very hilly. That's Elliott Bay in the background, steep Yesler St in the mid ground, and a balustrade in the front. Ooof.

Now I know where there are so many Starbucks and Seattle's Best Coffee on every other corner. So you have a place to sit, rehydrate, and catch your breath. It's a very pretty city, with little pocket parks too to sit and enjoy the sun which it does come out.

After lunch, Husband and I took the ferry to Bainbridge Island. That's the Space Needle on the left, the downtown on the right, and the ferry wake. It was a lovely sunny day for a ferry ride. We didn't even get off the ferry, we just rode back and forth. And we saw a bald eagle fly over us, so that was really cool.

We had dinner at a kosher Indian restaurant with Husband's old college roommate who is now Orthodox Jew and my friend Natasha and their kids. Very nice to catch up with everyone.

The next day, Natasha and I and her kids (3 yo and 17 mo) went on a yarn crawl/tour of Seattle. It was a lovely, sunny day too. We went to Tricoter where I got the Fiesta La Boheme rayon/mohair yarn, Peacock colorway, which they wound for me. For lunch we went to a Vietnamese restaurant then went to the Weaving Workshop where I got the Manos and Cascade Heathers yarn. The Fiesta will become a scarf or trim for a shawl someday. The Manos and Cascade will be a cropped shrug someday. Natasha's kids were pretty well behaved but they have their limits so after that Natasha took the scenic route through the Queen Anne neighborhood before dropping me off at the hotel.

While I was off gallivanting with Natasha, Husband took a ferry ride to Bremerton. Husband grew up on a lake and loves the water. So it was a fun afternoon for all.

Husband and I wandered Pike Place Market. But for dinner we went to Elliot's Oyster House on the pier. We gorged on raw oysters, accompanied by martinis. It was so yummy. My favorites were the Sunset Beach oysters: sweet, big, meaty.

Next time we go, whenever that is, we will have to go to the Experience Music Project / Science Fiction Museum. They had a Battlestar Galactica exhibit! And a Sci-fi Hall of Fame! Oh well, next time.

All in all, it was a lot of fun.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

It's about power, not sex

So the chief of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has been arrested for sexually assaulting a hotel maid.

Here's my take: he's a man of immense power, with the ability to mess around with entire economies. He's also got a reputation of being a "great seducer" with a history of messing around with women.

People say "but he's so smart and rich. Why would he be so dumb/not hire a prostitute?"

It's not about sex, it's about power. He's probably so used to him say jump and people, including other people with money and power, ask how high? Plus, being smart about one thing (economics) doesn't mean he's smart about other things. Especially if he's not thinking with his big head.

So I say good for you, hotel maid, for standing your ground and saying "I may be paid to serve you in some ways, but that doesn't mean in all ways."

Monday, May 16, 2011

Drawing cartoons

Meet June. She's not a dog person.

And here's Wonder Woman, in her new uniform, taking a break. I imagine she's flying around and saw a little pond and decided to take off her blue jacket, take off the black boots, the silver cuffs, and rolled up her pants to relax a bit. And the golden lasso of truth and headband double as hair accessories too.

I'm a self-taught drawer, so I'm really happy about how Wonder Woman's hand came out and I think I draw good legs and feet. The face in profile needs more practice. In looking at other cartoons and comix, I think the key is stylizing how the face looks. It's not important to look realistic but rather it's a cartoon, so it should be kinda stylized.

I'm using Prismacolor markers, the prepackaged 12 primary and secondary colors. Then I got a marker in the Sand colorway for the skin.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

May: Asian American Pacific Islander Month

And the 10th anniversay of Angry Asian Man, a blog that keeps us up to date on what's happening in Asian America and keeps us angry.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Osama bin Laden killed

Went to bed early last night and got up late this morning. Looking through my twitter feed, I see that bin Laden's been killed. Have yet to have my coffee, so brain not really on yet.

But, wow.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I've been on a romance novel reading kick. Over the last week I've read:

  • Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches' Guide to Romance Novels by Sarah Wendell and Candy Tan, of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. Fun, fast, funny book. They do talk about why they read these novels, the criticism that it's mindless dreck for women, and the issue of rape in Old Skool romance novels and gender and power. They also provide a Choose Your Own Adventure romance novel in the contemporary (what I think of as chick-lit), Regency England, pirate, and paranormal/urban fantasy settings. Hilarious! And a Mad Libs style game for each style too. This book had me giggling out loud, especially at the euphemisms for male and female genitalia. The Smart Bitches take a critical look at the serious and fun sides of romance novels (and the covers. Oh, my eyes.) I highly recommend it.

  • Bet Me and Faking It by Jennifer Crusie and Agnes and the Hitman by J Crusie and Bob Mayer. Each one took about 6 hours to read. I think I'm done with that author. I don't want to burn out on Crusie. I want to be able to come back and read her other books. I had previously read Wild Ride by Crusie and Mayer which made me think of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

  • Rude Awakening of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler. A young woman from the Regency era wakes up in the body of a 21st century woman in LA and has to figure things out. It's the sequel to Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict which I haven't read yet. Rude Awakenings came available at the library first.

  • currently working on Tommy's Tale by Alan Cumming, yes, the actor. I think this qualifies as a romance because Tommy is involved with Charlie who has a son. This gets party boy Tommy thinking about love and starting a family. If this isn't Romancelandia, a term I got from the Smart Bitches, then I don't know what is.

In other notes, I'm going to NYC later this week and have borrowed from the library and loaded onto the Nook:

  • Where's My Hero: a collection of short stories from romance authors that give a romance to a male character who was also very appealing but wasn't the hero. Will now have to read the books where these characters came from.

  • Manhunt by Janet Evanovich, set in Alaska

  • Vision in White, book one of the Bride Quartet by Nora Roberts. I have never read Nora Roberts before.

What got me going on this whole romance kick was discussions on NPR's Monkey See blog and podcasts about genres that don't get any respect in the larger culture. As should be abundantly clear by now, I am a big science fiction fan. Not a genre that gets a lot of respect. The same with romance novels.

My favorite romance novels, heck any kind of story, has a heroine who is good as what she does, has lots of skills beyond her job, is sassy/feisty/fiery, has a sense of humor, and rises to the challenge of whatever the plot of the story throws her into. She has a group of friends who also are competent, sassy, funny, etc and have their own plot lines, not just around to support the heroine. The hero is similar and they are both in a situation where they both have to deal with an unknown situation and both experience character growth. I really don't like stories where the heroine is bumbling at her job, needs the hero to save her and solve the case, is described as mildly unattractive (oh, noes, her hair isn't blown-dry!) and yet one or more men, including the hero finds her irresistable. Stephanie Plum, by Janet Evanovich, I'm looking at you.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The haters will hate genre TV, Game of Thrones edition

So tonight is the premiere of the Game of Thrones, HBO's adaptation of George RR Martin's epic low-fantasy book. And so the haters have started hating. Apparently the New York Times reviewer showed only contempt for it, calling it "boy fiction" which threw in sex and rape to get women to watch. Yes, my fantasy-and-sci-fi-loving head exploded, because men hate sex and women love rape. What. The. Hell?!?!? The reviewer hated it as well. I read the Slate review, but not the NYTimes review. And apparently both reviews were more about making fun of the fantasy genre, and less a review of what the show is about. Which I believe is what a review does, at its most basic. The interwebs exploded as well, with many responses, especially to the NYTimes' reviewer's assertion that women aren't also fans of fantasy genre, because apparently because she doesn't personally know any woman who is. The one response I like most is by Tightrope Walker, link here. Another good one is at, link here. Personally, I do want to see the show, have read all the books and do not have HBO. So will have to wait for the DVD so I can watch them all in one marathon.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dear US Congress: Do not throw women under the bus

So last week there was brinksmanship (and yes, men, most of them are still men) in the US Congress over the federal budget. And over federal funding for Title X which supports women's health care services which includes Planned Parenthood. PP provides many health services for women, including abortion. Which is the key issue. Pro-lifers and conservatives want to take away the funding to PP, which is about 0.1% of the US federal budget, because of abortion. Federal funds already cannot be used to provide abortions. Not that that stops the rhetoric and political grand standing. Sen. John Kyl, in his argument to taking away funding for women's services, said that 90% of what PP does is provide abortions. That got people talking and fact-checking and it turns out that abortions is only 3% of PP's services. 90%, 3%, they're close, right? Kyl then released a statement saying that he didn't intent that to be a factual statement. WTF? Of course Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert were all over it. Here's a link to an NPR article about it. I love how Colbert just loses it and has to stifle his laughter during his monologue. Funding for PP for now has been preserved. But last week I was so very afraid that in the political horsetrading on the federal budget, that funding for women's health care would be sacrificed for political expediency, to avoid a gov't shutdown. I wrote to my Congressmen -- and they are all men -- saying all the above. Saying that for years, when I was in college, PP was my only source of health care, of gyn services, and yes birth control so I wouldn't get pregnant and thus avoid the need for an abortion. Fortunately, my Rep is John Lewis, civil rights leader since his work with MLK, and has consistently been a supporter of women's rights. Unfortunately, my 2 Sens are both conservative and the auto reply I got from them say they are anti-choice and will fight to strip funding for abortion providers. It got me so pissed I wrote back again to say: Federal funding is already banned from providing abortions! Stop with the anti-woman political grandstanding! The fight continues.

The 150th Anniversary of the US Civil War

I see the Conspirator is coming out this weekend, just in time to mark the 150th anniversary of the US Civil War. I had the chance to see a screening of it in February, my review is here. My thoughts on the war: 1. I live in Atlanta, Georgia, which is dotted about with plaques describing battles, hospitals and other notable things about the war. I pass by a lot of them all the time. 2. It's indelibly linked (for better or worse) with Gone with the Wind. 3. There are still lots of people around who think of themselves as the sons and daughters of the Confederacy and display the Confederate flag. They don't think of themselves as upholding slavery, but more the right to live as they wanted. They don't think of the fact that it was based on the brutal exploitation of others, who were black, who were slaves. 4. It's the home of the US civil rights movement, birth place of Martin Luther King, Jr. Setting the slaves free with the 13th Amendment was only the beginning. There is still a long we all have to go to have equal rights among the races. And we haven't even touched sexism among whites and blacks. As an Asian American, not being black or white, it's interesting and important to be aware of this and to think about and recognize as I negotiate my life here.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Wonder Women, X-Men, and other comix

I've really been enoying Project: Rooftop (in sidebar) and with the discussion of the new Wonder Woman tv show, been thinking about the costume. Plus I got back into drawing. I think this week I'm going to try drawing:

  • South Asian WW in a (shortened) sari and leggings. Really, how can anyone fight in full skirts?

  • Central Asian WW in a salwar kamez (knee length tunic, long pants) with golden lasso as the scarf

  • Korean WW in a shortened hanbok, with pants

  • Vietnamese WW in ao dai (like a Chinese cheongsam but with higher slits up the side and long pants)

  • Nigerian style top and skirt set, but shorter skirt. And maybe leggings. I'm thinking of Precious Ramotswe as Wonder Woman.
And also, the women of Firefly as Wonder Woman.

  • Zoe would be easiest, just change the colors of her usual outfit and add the golden lasso instead of mare's leg gun.

  • Inara would be pretty easy too. Again, take a usual outfit, change colors, add a WW details and you're done. Plus we also know she can use a sword and bow and arrow.

  • River would already has boots. I'd put her in big baggy top, skirt, leggings, boots.

  • Kaylee would be hardest. I'm going to have to think about her outfit.
So the details, as I see it, that are crucial to the WW outfit are:

  • gold headband with star

  • golden lasso

  • WW logo somewhere

  • a few more stars

  • cuffs

The colors would be red on top, blue skirt or black leggings/pants, stars in gold or silver, cuffs in gold or silver.

I want to try reading more comics, and will start with the New X-men. I'm looking for strong female characters of color. And mutant-ness is a pretty transparent analog to discrimination in the real world, so I like that. I've asked Dean Trippe (editor of P:Rooftop) for recommendations and he recommended the New X-men. Also asked Glenn Weldon on NPR and he recc'ed the Runaways, which I have already read. I'm looking forward to the movie, but I hope they don't whitewash Nico like they did Avatar the Last Airbender and may do with Akira.

ETA: watching Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths on Netflix watch instantly. I think I like the Superheroes more for the visual style rather than the plot. Enjoying the costumes, enjoying picturing Mark Harmon (who I watch as Gibbs on NCIS) doing the voice of Superman, enjoying Gina Torres as Superwoman, and the Flash as I guess comic relief.

Also, been reading Gunnerkrigg Court, a webcomic. Got volume 1 from the library then read the rest on line. I find the artwork is very important to me. If I don't enjoy the visual style, then I'm just going to have a hard time reading the comic. And I like a certain amount of stylization.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Finishing the 5 year quilt project

I was inspired to pull out this quilt project to finish while watching the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency this weekend.

I call this my 5-year quilt, and that I'm always in year 2. I started this more than 5 years ago. It's been in hibernation at least 2 years, if not more, and this is it's second emergence from a hibernation period.

The diamonds are all fussy-cut, that is, cut out by hand. I had a template and used a blue ballpoint pen to trace out the pieces, then cut with scissors. I've hand sewn all these diamonds together too, using the blue lines on the backsides as guides. There are at least 200 of the turquoise and lime diamonds, 42 dark blue diamonds and probably another 200 pink ones.

I've sewn together the diamonds into strips, and then sewn the strips together. I'm working sewing together the strips that go at the bottom, where the DVD case is. The strips are labeled and pinned together. They just need to be sewn together, then joined to the blue center field.

There will also be a green border around the pink. By the time I get to that part, I think I'll be ready to send it out for finishing. Not sure that I'd be up for basting it to a back, quilting, sewing on the binding, etc.

At the end of the month I'm going get more active again with the adoption process -- getting fingerprinted for the background check, the home study with the social worker -- things that take a couple of months to complete. We're thinking that we'll have all the money together for the adoption agency by summer. Once we get these things done, then the agency will start actively looking for a match for us.

I doubt that a match will be made for us right after we get all the above done. However, I would like to have the quilt ready for when a match is made.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

More Wonder Woman thoughts

I went over to Project: Rooftop (in sidebar) and looked up Wonder Woman. Yep, they had a contest to remake WW's outfit. I like Leanna Buckley's outfit best, voted Most Fashionably Fabulous, and Sonny Strait's outfit best, which was voted Most Twirliest.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Buffy, the Bionic Woman, and Ziva David -- Part two, now with Wonder Woman

So Entertainment Weekly has released the first pic of Adrienne Palicki in the Wonder Woman outfit, complete with bustier, skin tight pants, high heels, etc. Sigh. How is she supposed to move, all trussed up like that, let alone fight?

This brings me back to the New York Times article that talks about the trend of women being the bad-ass, kick-ass muscle in shows like NCIS. And how they dress sensibly while doing so.

I guess David E. Kelley, creator of this latest version of the Wonder Woman show, didn't get that message.

So, as a feminist, I love that there are more and more strong women on TV, being capable in many ways and still looking good, in a practical, sensible way. However, them being fighters means they also get beat on, something I do not enjoy watching. It bothers me that strength = physical violence. When I watched Buffy, I would fast forward through the fight scenes, where most of the time, Buffy wore sensible shoes, with the big chunky 90s heels.
I'll give the new Wonder Woman a try, because she's the premier female superhero and I watched the Lynda Carter show. However, she's got a lot more competition on TV and I hope the show's done right. However, apparently Kelley's got a reputation of not writing good female characters, which makes me worry.
And lastly, it's Spring! I've started a new blanket, in cotton. Husband's huge wool blanket will have to go into hibernation for a bit. I've got 4 of the 9 main strips done, so I don't feel bad about taking a break. I was in the mood for crochet and got it going during the Bionic Woman marathon.
Next up: The Number One Ladies' Detective Agency with Jill Scott.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Buffy, Bionic Woman, and Ziva David, part one

Work is taking off and I've actually got my first payment, so woohoo! And spring is here. The cherrry trees are blooming, as are the daffodils and tulips. Husband went to Whole Foods market to get some beef kabobs and other things to celebrate my first paycheck, and got me some daffodils too. As he wisely noted, in a choice between flowers and dessert, he chose flowers -- lasts longer and better for you in the long run.

In all the busyness of meeting with potential clients, writing proposals to do work for them, and then actually doing the work, I've watched the one and only season of the Bionic Woman remake, from 2008. There were only 8 episodes, which is too bad because I thought it was pretty good. I may do a Nikita marathon next via Hulu.

Recently, as well, the New York Times posted an article called Sugar and Spice and Vicious Beatings about how more women on cops shows, etc. are the bad ass, kick ass muscle. I have some thoughts about it that I'll write about next post.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Earthquake off the coast of Japan

Woke up this morning to hear all about the earthquake and tsunami.

I called my parents in Taiwan and they said they're fine. Most people live on the western coast of Taiwan, on the Straits of Taiwan facing China. The center of the island is a mountain range and the eastern side facing the Pacific is not very populated.

My parents live on the western side and on pretty high ground, so they're fine.

In other news, Brother One has started his own English teaching business in Taiwan. At this point, that means 4 of the 6 people in my family are entrepreneurs.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Pão de Queijo recipe

Here's something I want to try. I got it from this article by Gene Lee

Pão de Queijo recipe (adapted from Simply Recipes):


- 1 egg

- 1/3 cup olive or vegetable oil

- 2/3 cup milk

- 1 1/2 cups tapioca flour

- 1/2 cup cheese, queso fresco or parmesan, grated

- 1 teaspoon of salt


- 1 mini-muffin pan

- Blender


1) Preheat oven to 400°F.

2) Apply a thin coating of oil in each muffin opening in the muffin pan.

3) Put all of the ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth.

4) Pour pão de queijo mixture into each muffin opening about ¾ full.

5) Place muffin pan on the oven’s middle rack and bake for 15-20 minutes, until completely puffy and just a little browned.

6) Remove from oven and let cool on a rack for a few minutes.

7) Serve warm

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Getting to be Spring 2011

The past few days in Atlanta have been up in the 70sF, reaching almost 80F some days. And Husband's friend came from Delaware to visit, before moving to Wisconsin. Yes, he likes driving.

The picture above was taken from the Commerce Club of the 191 Bldg. On the left is the Westin hotel. At the top of the hotel is the Sundial restaurant, which rotates 380 degrees clockwise. We ate there for dinner on Saturday night and the 191 bldg was prominent in part of our view. So it's kind of nice to see the Westin and the neighborhood in the day.

The white trapezoidal building in the middle of the picture is the Georgia Aquarium.

And look at the sunny blue skies.

I had been knitting the Carnaby skirt from in wool. However, with spring on it's way, and the fact that I've somehow made one side shorter than the other, and a whole host of things, I think I'm going to start over in some yellow linen yarn from the stash.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Today I jumped out of a plane!

For Valentine's Day, Husband got me a tandem skydive. It's my second time doing this.

In a tandem jump, I wear a harness and am clipped tightly to an experienced diver. The first time was with Ronaldo from Brazil, at least 5 years ago. This time it was with Johan from South Africa.

Both times were amazing. Both times we jumped out at 14,000 feet.

It was a beautiful, gorgeous day. Sunny, not a cloud in the sky, and warm -- 70F.

The most nerve wracking part was the actual push out of the plane, done by Johan. Then you're just free falling, air rushing past so, so fast, it's almost hard to breathe. Good thing they gave me goggles.

Then the chute opens, there's a bit of a jerk as your momentum suddenly changes and then it's lovely, and peaceful, floating. I could also see Stone Mountain from where I was up in the air in Carrollton, which is nearly to the Alabama border.

It's interesting. About a year ago, Husband and I went to Miami for something and he got me an appointment to parasail. But I just couldn't do it when the time came. I was just so afraid. I don't know if it was the hormones I was taking that made me so risk adverse. Or it was the stress of work that made me so risk adverse. I talked about the skydiving thing a few weeks ago with someone and it made me sad to think that I had become so afraid of parasailing.

But now that I've quit the old job in January and started my own consulting business (grant proposal writing), I am so much happier. And when Husband gave me the skydiving gift, I was just excited, not afraid at all.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Conspirator

Last night I saw a screening of Robert Redford's new movie, "The Conspirator." It's the true story of Mary Surratt, who ran a boarding house in Washington, DC. Her son John Surratt was friends with John Wilkes Booth, who killed Abraham Lincoln. She was arrested and tried for her role in the conspiracy that led to his assassination.

The movie was packed with big names. Robin Wright, formerly married to Sean Penn, played Mary Surratt. She was amazing. And unrecognizable. She sure doesn't look like Buttercup from "The Princess Bride." James McAvoy plays her attorney, who was a captain in the Union army. He starts out not wanting to defend her, but as a lawyer, believing in the rule of law and the US Constitution even in the time of war, really works to make sure the trial is fair and legal.

Since it's a true story, not gonna feel like I'm spoiling anything to say that it does not end well for many characters.

The screening was held as part of the American Bar Association conference. I went with a friend who is attending the conf. So the audience was largely lawyers. Talk about a sympathetic audience.

As I was watching, I wondered if it was filmed in Savannah. The houses where the main floor was on the second, not the easily flooded first floor, seemed familiar. And the fort made me think of Ft. Pulaski. After some internet searching, it turns out that it was filmed in Savannah.

Other big names: Kevin Kline, Alexis Bledel (Rory!), Colm Meaney (O'Brien!), Justin Long (can't stop thinking of him as the Mac guy), Tom Wilkinson. Other actors whose faces I recognized but couldn't place until the credits were Jonathon Groff (Jesse from Glee -- does good smarm), and James Badge Dale from Rubicon. I recognized Norman Reedus right away, who played Darryl in the Walking Dead.

The message was pretty clear that even in the time of war, the rule of law and habeas corpus, etc must be upheld, that everyone deserves a fair trial, and no one should be railroaded into a conviction to satisfy national blood lust. The ghost of Guantanamo Bay and the war of terror was pretty clear. Not a whole lot of subtlety in the movie. The Conspiracy could refer to those who plotted to kill Lincoln and to the Secy of War and the military tribunal that was determined to punish someone.

All in all, it was a good movie. I'd definitely recommend it when it comes out. If nothing else, for Robin Wright's performance.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Downton Abbey and the Gilded Age

Just watched the first 2 episodes of Downton Abbey. Full videos available on the PBS website until mid February.

The closeted gay footman made me think of the Dr. Who episode with Agatha Christie. Didn't watch the whole episode, but one of the servants was gay and had a thing with one of the gentleman. When the gentleman was killed, Donna lamented that the servant couldn't even grieve openly. I like that the Whoniverse is so positive about the different kinds of sexuality.

BBC America is replaying Torchwood. I caught 2 of my favorite episodes: the one where Capt Jack meets Capt Jack, and with Toshiko and the frozen WWI soldier. I guess I just like the short, tragic love story. However, not going to go see Gnomeo and Juliet. Seriously. That is a movie coming out soon.
Anyway, I've put The Buccaneers at the top of my Netflix queue. It's based on the unfinished Edith Wharton novel where 4 young heiresses go to England to find husbands in the late 1800s. It's like the story from Cora Crowley's point of view.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


So much stuff going on, starting new things. I've had meetings with people who do what I want to do as a consultant, and am getting good feed back. Going to draft a prospectus some time this week. And a budget. Exciting stuff, eh?

Anyway, I'm still on a cooking kick. Today, I caught an episode of Aarti Party on the Food Network and the recipe for Beef Vindaloo and Cucumber Raita looked good. Will modify to use the chicken I have. I went with this partly because I have one cucumber and half a container of plain yogurt already and had been trying to figure out what to do with them. And I have a container of garam masala spices too.

After scanning the web for recipes, the basics seem to be:
1. Fry up a few diced onions and garlic. Can do. That's the basis for pretty much anything savory I cook.
2. Add in bite-sized chunks of meat and brown.
3. Add garam masala, hot peppers, brown sugar and vinegar until thick sauce results.
4. Simmer covered until meat is done.

I'll probably serve it with rice, but Aarti also showed how to make chapatis.

mmm. Getting hungry already.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

One Big Table turns me onto red cabbage

So I've dived into One Big Table cookbook of recipes gathered from home cooks across the US.

Above is Katherine Dieckmann's Beet and Corn Salad. The biggest ingredient is actually red cabbage. And based on this recipe, I've been eating alot more red cabbage in salads. And next time, I'm going to use canned beets. It was not worth it to cook beets. It's messy.

I took it to a party and got good reviews, especially when combined with cheese.

I also made green goddess dressing and have discovered that I am not a big fan of parsley.

Below is Catfish ala Kenny. Actually it's 2 whole catfish (instead of filets) marinating in a combo of soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic and black pepper. I left out the green onions and ginger, mainly because I didn't have them.
Other modification: I pan fried it instead of broiling. And here it is plated. Believe me, it tastes better than it looks.
I served it with white rice and steamed asparagus, both drizzled with Good Seasonings Italian dressing.

Husband is liking my cooking, and it pretty happy that these recipes are relatively healthy.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Hothlanta 2011

So, I've quit my job and set up meetings with various people about setting up my own shop as a consultant, or finding another job, or things to do with the adoption, or just catching up with friends.

Then along comes the great storm of 2011 and puts everything on hold.

Atlanta got some snow. About 4 inches worth. Not much, right?

However, it is a rare event in the US South and there aren't enough snow plows, salt and sand trucks, etc to deal with it. Plus, the snow melts a bit when the sun is out and the temp rises, then refreezes at night. So the top layer of all the snow is actually ice. Makes for very slow going. The local news is full of warnings about "Don't go out unless you really have to!" Personally I've seen cars and trucks spin out and one pedestrian slip and fall on the ice. And I got stuck for a bit in it myself.

So schools have been closed all this week, along with many businesses. All my meetings have been postponed until next week at the earliest. As of yesterday, day 4 of the snowmaggedon, this graphic's been going around

I'm a home body, so I'm not suffering. I have many, many distractions:
1. Tai Chi and Yoga
2. Cooking, especially from One Big Table: 600 recipes from the nation's best home cooks, farmers, fishermen, pit-masters, and chefs
3. DVDs galore. I thought I'd rewatch Buffy the Vampire Slayer but have been rewatching Dollhouse Season 2.
4. Netflix Watch Instantly. I saw a tweet about this article and was motivated to figure out how to make Watch Instantly work.
5. Nook e-reader and knitting -- 2 things that were made for each other. I borrowed "And Another Thing..." book 6 in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. It's been a long, long time since I read the other books, but fortunately, they provide a "previously on..." section to catch you up. Especially since it's been years since the last book came out and the author died. This one is written by Eoin Colfer. And I'm still plugging away at Husband's stockingnette blanket. Talk about mindless knitting.
Speaking of Husband and blanket; so it's been cold and I had a lap quilt (made for me by Best Friend) across my legs. Husband wanted a blanket too and asked "is it the only blanket we have?" Pfft! I have made plenty of blankets! So I gave him the quilt and I'm using this blanket.
6. Going out anyway. Even I have a limit to how much nesting at home I can do.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Oh Caprica!

Sat on the couch for 5 hours last night to watch the last 5 episodes of Caprica. It was so good! Random thoughts, trying to avoid spoilers:

1. Many twists and turns -- so many characters were revealed to be different than presented in the past. Stand outs: Joseph and Willie Adama. So totally did not see those twists coming.
2. Compressed storytelling -- I usually like watching multiple episodes at once, but having 5 back to back, without time in between to digest each episode, kind of gave me whiplash. I feel like things moved too quickly, one after the other, that I missed details. And there are scenes I want to go back and see again. I am definitely getting the DVDs. Though I still balk at the price.
3. Good to see Amanda Greystone in action as the plastic surgeon she is. Makes perfect sense that she's that kind of doctor.
4. It felt rushed; I'm sure that's because the creators knew that they wouldn't be renewed and had to get all the storylines tied up. But it's such a rich world, it could have gone on for years. At least 3 if not the 5 that BSG got or Buffy's 8.

The stuff I want to know more about, still:
1. What was Lacy's story? So much about her character's arc was left out.
2. What happened to Tamara? Are we to assume that she traveled the same arc as Zoe?

All in all, a very satisfying prequel to BSG. Just sad it's over.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year! 2011

Resolutions for this year:
1. Become a mom through adoption
2. Find a new job
3. Be happier

We've restarted the adoption process. In Jan 2010, I started looking into it but stopped because of financial and work issues. Work has been really difficult in 2010 and I put in my resignation notice. My last day will be Jan 7, 2011. I have some vacation days still so may check out earlier.

Anyway, that nightmare will soon be behind me. I have not job lined up but Husband is very supportive as long as I am actively looking for a job. I'll be talking to some people who work in a job that I'm interested in going into.

But really, my big hope for 2011 is to adopt a baby and be a stay-at-home mom. After years of unsuccessful fertility treatments, we think this is the way to go. And after all this effort to have a kid, I want to stay home and be a mom for that kid.

I'm not thinking that becoming a mom will be all roses and I'll suddenly find happiness and all that. After all I know poopy diapers and temper tantrums will be part of the picture.

I just think that life is too short to not actively seek what I want out of life.

And 2011 will be the year to do it.

Happy New Year and may 2011 be a year that makes you happy too.