Friday, October 26, 2007

Things I Like Today

I'm sure you're all wondering what that white circular thing is, and why it's not a picture of my socks! I'm sorry I haven't posted a picture of my socks, I haven't been able to take a good one yet. It's been raining almost nonstop this week, which is great for the plants, because it's been very dry, but not so great for taking nice pretty outdoor sock pictures. In the meantime, I've started my second sock! I anticipated a bad case of second sock syndrome, especially since I have so many new projects I want to try, so I cast on and knitted half an inch or so immediately after casting off sock one.

I don't have all that much to say, so I'm going to do another list of things I like, which will include the weird thing on the side.

  • Method Aroma Ring (yeah, that's the weird thing)
    I was at Target today and I saw the Method had a line of Holiday scents. Now, I love most holiday related things. Their holiday scents were peppermint vanilla, holly berry, and cinnamon bark. I wasn't a big fan of the holly berry. I don't usually like fruit scented house things - the scent is almost always too strong for me. I was excited by the other options. I love most things cinnamon or spice scented in general, and the peppermint vanilla reminded me of one of my favorite candles. This candle is an Aroma Naturals soy candle I got last holday season. It somehow smells just like those after dinner peppermints - sweet and minty, and delicious. It's the first scented candle I've burned to within half an inch of its life. Anyhow, back to the aroma ring. I saw it was a scented thing that I didn't have to set on fire or plug in, so I decided I'd try it. I got it in pepermint vanilla, and got refills in....gingerbread spice! Seeing the gingerbread spice made me crave the similarly named Starbucks latte. The aroma ring...right. So, moral is, I took it home, unwrapped the foil bit and sat it there. It just sits there, people! I love it. Nice fresh scent. Cool modern looking weird vibe. That's that thing I like.

  • Blueprint Magazine
    If you are not familear with Blueprint magazine, I'd suggest you go to your local booksellers and pick up a copy! I say this despite the fact my local bookstore didn't *have* the newest issue and I had to get it at Target, but, that's neither here nor there. Blueprint is one of Martha Stewart's latest ventures. It's been around for over a year now - maybe around two years? I'm not sure exactly - and it's aimed at the 'early career professional' set. (my term, not theirs). Normally, I read a lot of magazines. My local libraries have always had a decent selection, and when they don't, I'm not above browsing through some at bookstores. My family subscribes to Gourmet and Food and Wine, so I get to read those when they're done. I also like to read style magazines (though those I don't subscribe to) and I've become a big fan of Women's Health. At the library, I also check out Martha Stewart Living and Real Simple. All together that's food magazines, craft magazines, fashion magazines and health magazines. The way I like to figure it, Martha (yes, we're on a first name basis; we're Facebook friends!) was looking through her stack of magazines and thought "I know, why not take ALL THESE THINGS and put them into ONE AWESOME MAGAZINE" and thus, Blueprint was created. That's my mind, at least. In reality, I personally think it's just plain awesome. I wish it were every month, not every two months, and I wish the issues were much longer, but as far as it goes, I'm a fan.

  • Thai Food
    Okay, so, this wasn't going to go on the list, but I just went out for an amazing dinner with my mom and stepdad. We had a whole fish, deep fried and then covered with sauce, and it was AMAZING. I had a beef salad as an appatiser. It wasn't what I meant to order, but I didn't want to give it back, so I ate it and DAMN was it spicy. Now, my stepdad loves spicy food, to the extent that when he goes to a new restaurant, he says "pretend I wasn't white and make it as spicy as you can, I won't send it back" or something to that effect, and they do. Tonight I could see the chilies on all his dishes from across the table. The restaurant we went to tonight is one of their favorites, and they have a favorite waiter who knows them well. Unfortunately for me, this means that *everything* ordered by the table is spicier than usual. I was somewhat convinced, for part of the evening, my lips would fall off. But, our fish was delicious.

  • Pumpkin Yogurt
    I'm sure to some of you that sounds disgusting. I'm sorry. For those who are wondering where they could get such a thing, I must sadly tell you you can't purchase it. This is an original recipe, so to speak...take some Fage greek yogurt and add a tablespoon or two of Trader Joe's Pumpkin butter. Mix, and enjoy! This is my favorite desert. I need to pull out the icecream make and make a batch of pumpkin frozen yogurt. I think that might end up being my favorite thing ever.
So much for lists. I'm sorry there aren't any good pictures - like I said, when the weather clears!

Monday, October 22, 2007

First sock!

My first sock is now DONE! I'm very excited. Tomorrow I'll take some pictures of it - it's not the most exciting thing in the world, and it's far from perfect, but darnit, I'm just glad it's done! Now....for the second sock. =]

New York, New York

I'm back from new york! It was an exciting five days, and very tiring.

Tuesday started earlier than I necessarily would have liked, but the ‘performance’ lifestyle, followed by my two weeks of vacation, does not lend itself toward early mornings. My friend M and I drove to Bryn Mar, where she’s currently a graduate student. We met up with her boyfriend and had lunch at Cosi. I had heard of the chain before, but never eaten there. I got the Chicken TBM and it was tasty! I’ll admit, I chose Cosi over other restauraunt possibilities because of the name - say it aloud! Cosi! Cosi cosi cosi! It sounds like cozy. Very friendly! We missed our SEPTA train so we just hung around a bookstore until the next one. I was able to get some knitting done on my sock in the train, so that was nice. We met up with D, the friend we were staying with for the first few nights, at Penn Station, and one wrong train later finally ended up at his house.
Wednesday M had plans to meet an old professor for lunch outside of the Met, so I was on my own. Where to go? Alice’s Tea Cup! Arthur, a similarly tea obsessed friend of mine from college, went to Alice’s sometime during school and brought back some of the Birthday tea. Delicious! I’ve wanted to go there ever since. I ended up having not just the tea, but high tea! It was delicious – a salmon sandwich, a pumpkin scone, the birthday tea and assorted cookies. I wish I’d purchased some loose leaf from them – M and I had planned to go to another of their locations later, but it didn’t happen; of course, my tea collection is currently overflowing so I didn’t need any more.
Tea was followed by the afternoon at the Met and dinner with M, M’s friend Casper, and D. As I was making my way to dinner, I fell down the last tier of steps at the Met. I’m sure you’ve seen pictures of those steps – there are a lot of them! I fell smack down on my ankles, and slid down the remaining steps. Oww! As I’m writing this up, five days later, my right ankle is STILL swollen, and my left leg is still VERY bruised. This did put somewhat of a damper on all the walking we did, but I survived. =]
We went to Hampton Chutney Co for dinner and Rice to Riches for desert. Rice to Riches is a rice pudding bar. I felt majorly under-hip, but the pudding was good. It’s right next to Pinkberry, so I convinced M we should come back later so I could try the Pinkberry I’d read so much about.
Thursday started with meeting D for lunch. Nothing exciting there – just Chipoltle in St.Mark’s Place. I have to say, as far as fast food goes, I’m a big Chipoltle fan. Then it was wondering around SoHo until I found Purl, the yarn store. I was overwhelmed! The selection was modest – at least, more so than my LYS – but it had new exciting yarns I’d never seen before! I bought three skeins of Organilk in Jungle, a lovely greenish brown heather that looks as though the green glows brown somehow, and two cones of Habu yarns, one of the silk and stainless steel and one of a matching mohair. Someone at the shop had knitted the Kusha Kusha scarf and was describing it to another customer. I’m not the biggest fan of that particular shape, but I loved the yarn combination. The steel gives some structure to the fabric. You can crumple it and have subtle folds, almost like paper. I’m very excited to work with this!
After Purl we poked around SoHo some more. I convinced M to go to Pinkberry with me. So delicious! I have to say, I think David Lebovitz’ version tastes almost as good, if not better, but the texture of Pinkberry’s yogurt was superior to my attempts at Lebovitz’ recipe.
We met our friend A for dinner at Crispo, and then he gave us a quick tour of his office – at Google! It was the second time for me visiting him, and all I’ll say is that it was awesome. Part of me still thinks of my future in terms of ‘how will this make it easier for me to work for Google’.
Friday was a much more relaxing day, and I was ready for it! M and I went to M’s friend Sarah’s house, and pretty much just watched Firefly all day. I’d never seen it before, despite being a Buffy fan, so it was lots of fun. We went to ColdStone for icecream and they had pumpkin icecream. Yay! As I think I’ve mentioned, I’m a fan of ANYTHING pumpkin, especially deserts. I got graham cracker crust and Heath bar mixins, and the icecream was delicious! We ended the day by watching more Firefly. A nice relaxing day.
The day started with homemade chocolate chip waffles, made by my friend Sarah. What could be a better way to start the day? M and I went back to Manhattan and unloaded our bags at our friend A’s before going to see Pygmalion.

The show let out about half an hour before we expected it to, so I convinced M to go to The Drama Bookshop with me. I bought way more than I should have:
The Viewpoints Book by Anne Bogart & Tina Landau
A Director Prepares by Anne Bogart
His Dark Materials by Nicholas Wright based on the novels by Philip Pullman (the ‘new’ edition, revised and with an introduction)
Rock ‘N’ Roll by Tom Stoppard
The Fever by Wallace Shawn (a signed copy! I didn’t nottice THAT until just now! Cool!)
Women Beware Women by Thomas Middleton

Dinner was with M, A, Sarah and I at Zen Palate. I had two different kinds of soy protein in my meal, and while I’m not stranger to soy – or to vegetarian food – I wasn’t the biggest fan of the mango entrĂ©e I got. M got ‘sweet and sour nuggets’ which were much tastier, and had a more enjoyable texture. After dinner it was off to Penn Station and home! I got some more knitting done on the train home, but then I made friends with my neighbor. Knitting can happen any time – train friends are unique.

Back home:
I’m glad to be back! Living in New York still holds an appeal for me, but I know realistically I wouldn’t be able to afford living anywhere I’d want to live. It was nice visiting friends and seeing art and having new food adventures. I do like travel, and I forget sometimes how much I miss it. It’s nice though, also, to be able to lounge around outside and enjoy the sounds of the birds (I heard our owl!) and of the trees moving. I’m not sure if I’m a city girl or a country girl, but for now, I think a nice mix of both is best.

Monday, October 15, 2007


Things I love about fall:
  • Pumpkins!
  • The smell of leaves
  • Cozy sweaters
  • Holding a cup of tea just warm enough to warm you up
  • Knitting! (Okay, I always love knitting, but it just feels *right* during the fall)
  • The color of the light (I swear it's more golden)
  • Fresh baked bread (I also like this about winter. Summer? Not so much.)
  • The way marigolds are mirrored in the foliage (This refers to specific marigolds and specific trees, yes, but I still love it!)
This year I haven't done quite so much baking. For September I was too busy (and too tired) to do much - just roasting brussel sprouts took all the food energy I have! Plus there's this whole trying to become more compact thing. Starting tomorrow, I'm going on an almost-week-long trip to New York with one of my best friends from highschool (hi M!) and I know whatever we eat will be less healthy than the nice meat or fish and two or three vegetable meals I've been eating at home. That's one thing I do like about being home - my family really has this whole 'cooking dinner' thing down pat.

I've been tentatively planning my birthday party (mostly in my mind) and I think I'll make my absolute favorite pumpkin pancakes then. The recipe makes somewhere upwards of 30 pancakes, and they're filling enough I can rarely eat more than two or three. Last year when I made them I froze the extras in little preportioned ziplocks - three mini pancakes per bag - and I'd just pull them out and defrost them in the toaster when I had a bit of extra time for breakfast - or just when I wanted something a little more decadent. They're great with yogurt and maple syrup with a cup of chai! The only thing I change in the recipe is I double all the spices. I generally double cinnamon, ginger, and cloves in any sweet recipe that calls for them, it adds a little spice.

Anyways, New York! I've been looking all around my bookshelves for my NFT guide (which I bought for my first tourist outing to the city, of course) so I could bring that along with my Moleskine City notebook. I don't know the city that well, having only been a few times. M, my friend I'm traveling with, lived there while she interned at a museum a few summers ago, so I'm counting on her to introduce me to all the fun places. My only plans are to hopefully hit Alice's Teacup and PurlSoho. Tea and yarn! Two of my favorite things. Oh! We're also going to see Pygmalion, thanks, in large part, to Hiptix, a program the Roundabout Theatre runs to make theatre more affordable for the under thirtyfive set. It's free to join, so if you're going to be in the New York area and fit the age limits, I'd encourage it. I have a special place in my heart for Roundabout after seeing their Threepenny Opera last summer staring Alan Cumming, Nellie Mckay, and Cindi Lauper. It was a Wallace Shawn translation! I do get what the critics hated, but I enjoyed it.

I think I'm going to play around with my template to see if I can't get something a little more fall appropriate. Later!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

So much for writing about senior year...

Okay, so I guess doing the actual homework (and socializing) took precedence over starting this blog. I’m okay with that. However, I do still want to *have* a blog. These days I’m leaning more towards a knitting blog (or an all inclusive blog) than towards the previously attempted foodblog. (see: )

So, how about I include some actual content…
Sometime toward the middle or end of this past August, I found myself in a strange city (well, not that strange, it was in New Jersey) with no knitting to speak of and time on my hands. I went to my LYS (local yarn store) and asked the woman for her recommendation on a one or two skein project that would be portable. She asked me if I’d tried socks yet, and when I said I hadn’t because I’d been afraid of them, she told me not to worry, everyone she knew tried the pattern she gave me (Yankee Knitters #29) to great success. She even let me borrow a #4 needle for casting on, since my needle stash was at ‘home’, still not unpacked from my move out of my apartment, post graduation.

Well, I’ve been working on those on and off (I had to take a break to knit a friend a squid, like you do) and here’s today’s update:

So, I’d left the socks mid heel-decrease (or, in the technical term, mid heel-gusset, but Coupling made that word make me giggle. Heh. Gusset.) and didn’t want to pick them up again. Two days ago I finished the heel gusset (heh) and went on to the foot!

Now, I’d been debating for a while wanting to try knitting on two circular needles. I like double pointed needles, but I’m always worried about taking the sock places. I’m somehow convinced one of the needles will fall out or break or something. SO I decided to try knitting the rest of this sock (or at least the foot part) on two circulars. With Cat Bordhi’s book in hand I transfered the sock over and I realized one of the other benefits of knitting on two circulars: You can try on the sock!

Well, I have to admit I’m not as pleased as I’d hoped. The mess ups in the ribbing (why is it I always mess up at the beginning of a project, long after I’d let myself rip it) are noticeable, but otherwise the socks fit nicely. They’re looser than my normal socks, as well as thicker (duh) but I think they’ll look nice peeping out from my Dansko MaryJanes.

I think on the next pair of socks I do I’m going to cary the ribbing down the top of the foot. It should help keep them a little tighter, and I personally think it looks nicer. Now, here’s hoping I finish this sock!

Thank you, loyal internet (I’d say readers, but I am pretty sure I don’t have any yet). Expect a picture of sock-on-foot coming hopefully soon.

Hello world

So, this is my first post. I’ve been thinking about doing this blogging thing for a while. I had a personal blog back in The Day, but it was embarrassingly more like a journal posted on-line than anything other people might want to read.

In the past four years I’ve been reading a lot of food and knitting blogs, as well as other random people-I-know blogs, and it reminded me how much the format appeals to me.

What will this be? I don’t really know. Hopefully, I will stick with it. I intended to start this earlier and blog the end of college, but that's done with.

The blog is called ‘liberally educated’ because right now I feel like my education (and what I can and can’t do with it) defines me more than any one particular interest. If nothing else, it's what I spent the past four years doing!