Category Archives: friends

Outdoor People

Meeting Wood and Luv over the weekend was a real treat for me and Billy. We drove out to their cabin in the woods of Pennsylvania and, although it’s trite to say about people you’ve known on the web for a long time but are just meeting for the first time, they were exactly as I’d imagined them. Only way cooler. Which is saying a lot, because I had high expectations for the weekend!

These are the type of people I want to be when I grow up. We arrived in time for lunch and then headed out to Gettysburg for some history and hiking. Then it was back to the cabin for the much-anticipated dead rats. Dead rats, for the uninitiated, are scooped out jalapenos filled with cream cheese, wrapped in bacon, and grilled over an open flame. The fun was trying to figure out whether the bite you took that is burning your face from the inside out is a hot jalapeno or a mild one. They were delicious!

Dinner was likewise delicious, and we followed that up with a game of Five Crowns. I started off really well in both games we played, but I think I finished second place each time. Billy… well, the most we can say is that he gave it his all. I think he may have set a record for the worst score ever, but even that is something to be proud of in some way, right?

We sat in the hot tub under the stars for a while and enjoyed the silence of a fall evening. And then we settled off to sleep in the darkest, quietest room I have been in in a very, very long time. I slept all the way until 9am, which for me these days is absolutely unheard of. There’s something to be said for peaceful, warm, welcoming homes.

We woke up for some NYC bagels and muffins and then we were off to the nearby park to play disc golf. We did pretty well, I think (for us). I threw about 20 over par, which is probably way better than the last time I played when I didn’t even bother to keep score. The one part of the day I’d probably take back was when I threw my hand directly into a nearby tree while making my toss. That one still stings a bit.

After frisbee, we tried our hand at geocaching. I’d always wanted to try this, and it was fun! The first cache was a bit of a challenge to find. We must have looked around for a good 20 minutes for it before we thought of MOVING rocks to look under them. That cache gave us the location of the second one, which held the actual prize. This one was a bit easier to find, and we walked away with a Boy Scout patch. Then it was back home for some amazing tomato soup (yummmm!) and burgers. Somehow, after that, we had to leave.

I think what struck me the most about the trip was how much at home I felt with them. For people I had never met before, they welcomed Billy and me in as if they’d known us their whole lives. What a special treat, and I hope someday to return the favor.


The post where I bore you with my knitting projects.

I totally want to tell you about that time we went tubing down the Esopus (you know, last week), but I think I know better than to post something good here on a Friday night. You people all go and do things Friday night and then get busy over the weekend and by the time Monday comes around, you’re all frazzled from your busy weekend and the shock of having to get back to work and suddenly my cool story isn’t that interesting any more. Look for it on Tuesday. If I still have time to write it by then.

For tonight, I’ll share with you some knitting projects I recently completed. I’ve become what can only be described as obsessed with knitting. I’ll admit that my vacation in the wilderness with no time for knitting did slow me down a bit, but I assure you that my plans after writing this post most definitely include picking up a set of double pointed needles.

Let’s see… I think I already mentioned my first pair of socks.

They were fun to make, and I got a LOT of unsolicited commentary on them from people who saw me knitting them. One woman sitting next to me on the subway couldn’t believe I was knitting with such tiny needles. One guy on an airplane thought that hand-knitted socks were just the COOLEST thing he had ever seen. Most people were just amazed at how small the stitching was. Mostly I worried about whether these things would fit on my feet. And they do. Mostly. If I never wash them (the socks, not my feet).

I made a phone sock for my friend Kathy.

This is something I designed myself, and I surprised myself by actually liking it! There is lots of cabling in it (obviously), and it was a bit annoying using that cable needle so much, but I finished the knitting of it in an afternoon and still had time for other knitting in the same day. I think what makes this one nice, though, is the lining on the inside. I had this really cute pink flowery fabric that was just dying to be made into a phone sock, and it’s such a pleasant surprise to peek inside and see it there with the green knitting on the outside. I wish I had more of that fabric to make another one, but alas, I will have to just find something else to love.

For Siggi’s birthday and going away dinner, I wanted to make something extra-special, so I made her this (if I say so myself) adorable owl sweater.

This sweater was incredibly quick and fun to knit, and when those owls started knitting up, I couldn’t help but smile. The worst part was sewing all those little buttons on for eyes, but all in all it came out nice! Unfortunately I guessed on the measurements and it didn’t fit Siggi (it just about fits me), so I am going to have to make another one. Alas! Another fun knitting project on my agenda!

Since I had anticipated the sweater possibly not fitting, I wanted to make something else for Siggi to actually be able to take with her to Oregon. So I made this scarf.

I used a simple entrelac pattern and this one knitted up in about a week. That’s with me knitting in every spare moment, including once or twice on the toilet. OK, maybe not on the toilet. But I was definitely knitting everywhere and all the time to get it done in time. I really like the yarn. The colors are really pretty. I’m making another one in red and purple.

I also made an emergency hat and bootie set for a colleague who was having a baby, but because I had to finish them up in about a day, I didn’t have a chance to snap a photo of them to save for posterity. It’s really kind of a shame, because they were absolutely adorable. Oh well.

Right now I’m making a baby sweater for a little one-year-old girl, but haven’t quite decided yet who to give it to. I would like to take a picture for you, but my camera battery is completely dead. (8/14/10: Updated to add the photo):
I know a few little girl babies and at least one or two potential little girl babies, but to be honest, I kind of like this one a lot too, so I may keep it for myself on the off chance I have a little girl myself someday. I also want to finish that red and purple scarf and get that second owl sweater done and then I have some great yarn that a certain best friend got for me that is just aching to be knit up into something special. I guess I could start thinking about Christmas presents, but dude. Christmas in August? Just how productive can one knitter be? Sheesh.

Seeing Pink.

There’s been so much to write about this week, and no time to write it all! For instance, on Monday I went to see a production of Hamlet that was performed by one man who interacted with a prerecording of himself. It sounds so odd, but it was actually pretty amazing! We thoroughly enjoyed it – I wish the run was longer, because I’d definitely take people to see it. It’s closing tomorrow, so if you’re in NYC and you want to check it out, do yourself a favor and do: here are the details.

Then there was last night, when I went to a premiere party for the new Sex and the City movie. It was as pink and fabulous as a SATC premiere party should be, and the cosmos were served by shirtless men wearing bowties. Yum. They showed (soundlessly, alas) the first SATC movie at the party and then, properly liquored up, we shuffled across the street to our private viewing of the sequel. This is where it starts to get hazy for me.

I guess I enjoyed the cosmos too much, or maybe the vodka just didn’t mix well with the fresh air outside, but I think I made it all of about 20 minutes into the movie before I had to run down the stairs to the bathroom. Didn’t quite make it to the bathroom, though, and I ended up puking my guts up in the trash can by the entrance to the theater. Luckily there were only five or six employees to watch that spectacle and they just left me to it. I spent the rest of the night just trying to survive, and actually slept pretty soundly through most of the last two thirds of the film. The last thing I remember is they decided to go to Abu Dhabi? Or somewhere with a lot of sand? But that might just be me remembering the previews.

As much as I’d be willing to admit outright that I’m a goddamn lush, I just don’t think it’s true. I couldn’t have had more than four fairly weak cosmos, and I definitely ate before I drank. I’m going to blame it on crappy vodka and the fact that I hardly ever drink any more. Yeah. Let’s go with that.

All in all, it’s been a pretty good goddamn week, I say. And now I’m ready to embark on a three-day weekend with no solid plans and I’m so excited I think I may go mix myself a cosmo to celebrate.

Falling short of the mark.

I’m not quite sure why it is that the people in my life who have had the most profound impact on me seem to know it the least. I try my best to convey to them how I feel, but I know I fall short every time.

One by one people are disappearing from my little sphere, and there’s not much I’ve been able to do except hold their memories in my heart and try to share with others the magnitude of the love I’ve had the pleasure of knowing.

Going Out.

I have been Grouchy McGrouchypants these days. I’d been trying to fight it, but someone pointed out to me that I have a lot of damn good reasons to be grouchy and moody, so you know what? I’m going with it.

To that end, tonight I’m headed to the diner for a burger and a chocolate milkshake, and then to meet a friend in the city for beers and laughs. And I’m not going to worry about what this means for the good of my soul, because seriously. Aren’t I under enough pressure already?

Great Escapes

It’s amazing that we spent only two weeks in New York after our honeymoon before we felt we needed to make a desperate getaway to regain our sanity. Luckily Erica came to our rescue and put us up for a few days in her place just outside DC.

There’s something kind of romantic about riding a bus hundreds of miles down endless highway, knowing a good friend will be waiting at the end of the line with an awesome hug and long-overdue squeals of excitement. The 60’s rock on my headphones made the ride that much better, and when we got off the bus and found Erica waiting for us, the day went from great to greater in an instant.

We went to see the Nationals take on the Orioles, since Erica had gotten tickets through Stitch ‘n Pitch, a group of knitters who go to baseball games and knit together. Of course our tickets were invalid thanks to some strange fluke, so we were given seats directly across the stadium from Erica and her friends. But the night could not have been more perfect for baseball and we ate our hot dogs and enjoyed the sunset and sent about 25 text messages across the field so as not to feel quite so distant from our host.

We relaxed and ate and drank and relaxed and ate and drank. We played with Erica’s dog, Quinn (which really just means we gave into his demands to be petted for every second of every moment we were in the apartment). We watched movies. We bullshitted the night away.

It could not have been a more perfect weekend, except that it ended. Now it’s back again to the reality of real life. The life that involves a job I am hardly managing to tolerate and an apartment I cannot seem to wield the way I want it.

The nice thing is, I always seem to come back from a trip feeling inspired to make the important changes, and now I’ve got visions of socks and baby blankets to knit and an entire FUNCTIONAL office space, complete with purple walls. The key, of course, is making the visions into a reality, which is not typically one of my strengths. At least I’ve got another round of photos to help me escape the moment and my surroundings, even if only in my imagination.

Living the Nostalgic Life

This week I behaved like a 19-year-old college student, sleeping four hours a night and going out for wild drinking binges with the guys nearly every single night. It’s a bit different now than it was in college, though (as it always is), since I actually have a job that requires focus and attention and my presence five days a week. It’s not like I can skip work the way I might skip a class. I also don’t have access to a dining hall where people cook and do my food shopping for me, so I’ve been languishing on a diet of diner and bar food and cold pizza for breakfast.

I will say that it has been fun. I’m not going to lie. We’ve been out partying with friends from yore, family we don’t see often enough, and people we see all the time yet never enough. We have danced and joked around and cursed the fact that McSorley’s Pub closes at 2am! And that Yogi’s is not just closed, but completely demolished! The city’s great dives are making way for expensive high-rise apartment buildings, and that just makes me sad. I want to buy a house near swampland in the south with rickety walls and sprawling grounds so we can hire a DJ (I’m looking at you, Caprice) to blast the tunes while we sit in our rocking chairs on the porch drinking Corona. The luxury high-rise life is not for me.

We leave for our honeymoon in less than a week, and all I can say is my body is really craving that chaise lounger by the pool and the powdery white sand on the beach. This week will be more of the same, I think. My work calendar is packed solid and my social calendar is following suit, and I’m thinking whether I’m 19 or 29 is really moot at this point; I’m going all out and the only thing that’s going to stop me is jail or death. This one’s for all the bananas.