Archive for the 'Knits' Category

17
Oct
10

New Blog

Hi guys,

I haven’t posted in forever and it’s not because I have given up on this blog or forgotten to write. Simply, I’ve been really busy the last few months. We moved apt and have been slowly trying to make it look decent which is a work in progress. I’ve been knitting a lot and having to finish up all the requirements for my business while also cooking and cleaning and basically doing what needs to be done. Plus, I’ve been really into doing puzzles while watching Bones which takes away from my blogging time haha.

Anyway, I have tons of stuff to post but I won’t do it now. I just wanted to let you all know I’ll be making a new blog that is specially geared towards my company and the potential clients who don’t want to read about my personal life stuff. I’ll be sure to link the blog both on this post and on my blogroll. Hope that everyone is doing well and sorry for not updating for so long!

Update: Looks like wordpress.com won’t allow the etsy widget so I gotta build one through wordpress.org. At least that is what the etsy site is saying. I’ll try to finish it today but I haven’t had to build this kind of stuff in a long time so I’m rusty haha

 

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04
Jun
10

so much fun

so i gave my money info to the rep for my yarn order and was expecting my yarn to come in on Friday. They lost my info and didn’t call me til this Wednesday and called them today and had to give them my info. So gotta wait another week for my yarn…so lame and really don’t know why they set up accounts on the phone if they lose my card info and don’t call until a week later. Lame since I gotta now wait another week for my yarn…push back on my company now. ::sigh::

10
Nov
09

Live long and prosper

Finished my first sock!

I’m so proud. Not as difficult as I had thought and really satisfying. I’ve ordered more yarn for my other sock pattern which should arrive friday AND my yarn from august is coming in on thursday! I doubt I’ll focus on the bigger project soon but I’m glad that I am actually getting the yarn. No news on Nathan’s Vegan shoes though 😦

Anyway, I started the second sock and have yet to weave in the ends of my first sock. I kind of don’t like that I didn’t use a kitchener stitch for the toe but oh well. It’s a bit looser than I would like in the ankle area but oh well…at least the new sock book I have has taught me how to adjust size a bit more so I’ll have to keep that book as a reference in the future.

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I really hate weaving in the ends of items. Just so annoying to do after having spent time knitting the item and then having to do extra work. But I’ll save that task till the next sock.

In other news, I have made my vegan goat cheese but haven’t gotten around to making my tarts but I hope to post those soon.

My mother told me of this new show called ‘V’ which is a remake of the older series back before I was born…I think. For my mother, the reference to Firefly goes further because the leader of the Visitors is actually the high-class escort/prostitute/cultural equal which we thought was so awesome. I hate shows like these because of the scary music and I had to make Nathan hold my hand and I muffled my mouth with my hair because I was afraid I’d scream if it turned out scary. I’m a total sucker for scary music.

Which made me question why we don’t have more happy alien shows/movies…I could only think of ALF and 3rd Rock from the Sun. Personally, I don’t like scary movies or scary/drama movies/shows because I’m a huge wiener. Seriously, Nathan can turn around and say ‘boo’ (which he has) and I’ll scream. I’m just emotional and I’m not saying that because I have two XX that I must be emotional…I’m sure if I had a X and a Y I’d still be a weenie…I’d like to blame my parents for not toughening me up but maybe it just has to do with my personality. I actually sort of screamed at the laundry mat last week because the manager talked to me while I was turned and didn’t see him. I think he felt really bad about it but I reassured him that I’m just that lame.

Maybe it has to do with my Disney upbringing. I would get scared on the Snow White ride…still kind of dread it. I don’t know…I’m just one of those people who likes everything to be rainbows and happy carebear stars. Not saying I don’t like gritty films or dramas, but scary stuff just doesn’t make sense….I’m such a weenie.

Currently reading Mansfield Park and Closing the Food Gap, but I tend to read fiction faster than non-fiction…I think I like the imagery and imagining what it would be like to live in those times. It makes me think about the social/cultural roles of the sexes and how much money plays into the lives of us all. But it also makes me think about how the more influential people are historically the more corrupt, sad, and wrong many of these people were. It almost seems that being poor (or not wealthy) is a way to a more peaceful life in terms of being manipulated and corrupted. But I suppose the trade-off is being more exposed to hunger, poverty, disease, being put on the front of war time hostilities, and so on. I think I like Jane Austen because she wrote so much about marriage, social mobility (or the lack/downfall of mobility), and moral/individual education of women that it makes me ponder why our society works the way it does in present day. Especially since she nor her sister never married and I really can’t wait to visit England since I think the British Museum (if i remember correctly) has the only painting of her and her sister. Of course, my personal history has no/little links to European society but as a post-colonial/oppressed/erased legacy I find her works really interesting.

Anyway, I won’t get into some random post about this since I feel like I’m talking out of my ass half the time. But I like to think that this blog is a space for me to think out my thoughts even if I question what I wrote the next day.

I’ll end this post now. Take care and Eat good food.

P.S.

My mother recently brought up how Gwen Stefani is totally into colonial exoticism which (not to brag 😛 hehe) I’ve noticed for some time. I remember the first CD that I actually bought (with a gift card but I picked it all the same) was a No Doubt CD. I can remember the place and time and thinking how great the band seemed on the radio and I used my card to buy it. But after so many years of watching her it’s both sad and fun because I must admit that I do like some of her songs…but this one I really hate because it just seems so exploitative but I’m sure some of her other ones are deeply offensive as well to certain people. I hate posting it since it seems like I’m promoting her while criticizing her but oh well.

I don’t want to go off but notice the Mexican foil candy, the Virgin de Guadalupe shirt torn in half to reveal her bikini top/breasts, her hair which is kind of latina, the nail salon scene, the fact that her Japanese girls are acting black/latina, the Pinatas, the Frida hair style, the entire outfit, god damn it’s so maddening. It goes beyond playing some part in a music video…at least to me…it seems wrong but whatever…just wanted to post it for reference.

04
Nov
09

I ain’t ‘fraid of no ghost

I can’t believe it’s Nov. already.

Where does time go? It seems like yesterday that I was in HS waiting to turn 18, then 21….and it felt so slow. Now I feel like the years go by so quickly but maybe I’m just getting nostalgic in my old age. Halloween was pretty uneventful which is a good thing since there are usually a handful of deaths each year. Celebrated our 4th anniversary since our commitment which was nice…I like to look up the wedding gifts for fun especially since the modern ones are so unromantic. This year was Appliances for the modern day. Appliances? ok sure, I actually did ask Nathan to get me the Le Creuset Skillet and we’re going to get him this awesome bag specially made for him so we weren’t planning on romantic…and ya so my gift would kind of be an appliance but really? Who thought up appliances as a wedding anniversary gift?

“Here you go honey, a new food processor to make me food!” or….wait…what kinds of manly appliances do guys use? Irons? Haha I usually iron….oh wait I got one…”Oh Nathan, here’s a Fry Daddy so you can make your deep-fried tofu”

I think the traditional one for this year was linen which is so much more abstract and imaginative than…appliances. Bah, stupid modern crap….I think they should come up with a post-modern list that would include: kindle, iphones, ipods, basically anything mac related, and something labeled as ‘green’ even if we don’t know for sure if it is actually sustainable, eco-friendly, or/and fair trade.

So we didn’t do much but we had a lot of fun thinking up a design for our pumpkin and doing our costumes. I’m proud that Nathan carved the pumpkin so well since I suck at it. He’s randomly more logical than me in certain areas and apparently pumpkin carving is one of them. We brainstormed what our pumpkin would look like and drew out some ideas. He set to work while I made the pizza since I wasn’t going to mess with our year long tradition of Pizza Saturdays. I seriously think the only time we’ve missed out on Pizza Saturdays is when on vacation which is pretty awesome if you ask me….which you didn’t.

We totally got compliments on our pumpkin but it sucks that our candles kept running out. Then I started freaking out because the candles we had were super old so I have no clue if they’re vegan since I’ve had them since before I became one. Now, of course, I’m looking into making vegan candles since it seems easy and relatively cheap and good for emergencies…especially since we have quite a few power outages up here. Anyway, I’ll post our pumpkin.

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Can anyone guess who it’s modeled after? Or is it whom? I really need to look that up but I think ‘whom’ sounds really lame. Anyway, for those who didn’t guess it’s supposed to be Paul Stanley. So awesome…really the mouth totally makes it. It’s super tiny just like his mouth in most pictures. Nathan was really upset because we didn’t have all the fancy tools to make really crazy designs especially since he thought it was totally cheating. He kept bitching that it’s not fair to use all these random tools to get some great looking pumpkin and then also using patterns because it makes our pumpkin look not so creative but I reassured him that ours was way more original so screw the pumpkin tools. I think the compliments helped with his mood since our neighbors seemed to get the reference.

So since we usually love Halloween but don’t usually plan we felt pretty good with our face make-up. We didn’t actually dress up but just did KISS faces. I was Peter Criss and Nathan was Paul Stanley. We’re on a KISS theme this year…and I mean the entire year we’ve been loving them. I was kind of annoyed since the Cat Man had way more make up then the stupid Star Child. Took me twice as long. We had lots of fun listening to KISS and random bands while getting ready. Really, I think it’s one of the best Halloween ideas that I’ve/we’ve thought up.

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We used pink ‘drum sticks’ for a lot of our pics which was really fun. Re was the drum for Nathan’s picture haha. Also, I wore my red boots which look way cooler than the picture I posted. Nathan calls them ‘Fuck me’ boots which I thought was too funny. I just thought they looked like quirky red boots.

I know that my make-up wasn’t totally original since I wanted to make it a bit more fem. since I looked really weird with the black make-up going to my forehead so I washed it off and just made them reach to my eyebrows. I also didn’t have any green eyeshadow so I used blue instead. And I have a ton of red-eye fotos of myself which is so irritating. I guess it has to do with certain pigments and random biological crap that I’m not going to write about since it’s easy to just Yahoo it…that’s right…not Google….Yahoo! I hate stupid google…::grumbles::

Unfortunately, I’ve pretty much decided to remove my lip ring since it’s so hard to find the right size and gauge. I’m really sad about it…but even when I found the right ring I ended up eating the balls so quickly that it was stupid and then it’s kind of hard kissing sometimes because it moves around or if the ball is missing it pokes me or Nathan. Maybe that is too much info, but I’m really sad about it. I need to find another place to pierce now…especially since I got that piercing as a bet against Nathan. It has so many great memories.

Have I mentioned I started composting? I’m so proud of that and it’s really fun to dump my food clippings but someone hid the shovel this week so no one has been able to turn over the compost lately. I also am waiting for our Sigg water bottles which should help cut down our plastic water bottle consumption. Um…let’s see what else…oh! I bought some small tart pans with removable bottoms so I can’t wait to make some vegan goat cheese-tomato tarts and maybe some vegan dessert tarts! so exciting….and I should be making some Persimmon  cookies this week.

The only thing left really is knitting now. Not to spoil Christmas but I’ve pretty much given up on making big items for my family this year for Christmas since I still am waiting on my big order of yarn. So, everyone who is family…I think I’m going to make socks since they are so awesome. I really hate Christmas since 1. Nathan and I are only children and really hate opening presents in front of people because it feels so weird and 2. I never know what to get people even if it’s Nathan and 3. it makes everyone go into ‘shopping spree’ mode. Even Nathan…omg I’m still mad at him for buying me this huge computer screen since we originally agreed to only spend a certain amount on each other. He justified it by saying that I never get anything since I hate spending money on myself so he wanted me to have something really nice…haha so post-modern…instead of jewels he buys me a huge computer screen. We’re so weird. But anyway, Christmas is so hectic but I hope my knit gifts will be nice and awesome because the designs that I have are so beautiful.

My sock is coming a long nicely and almost done. I finished the decreases for the gusset and am working on the foot but I haven’t worked on it this weekend since it was our anniversary so I’m a bit behind. I can’t wait to finish these socks and try the patterns out of my new book. To be honest, I made a swatch (to check the gauge of the yarn/needles) and it was actually smaller than the pattern stated and it’s still a bit larger than my foot. It’s not super loose but I really like my socks to be tight fitting. One of the reasons why I like this new sock book is that she gives tips on how to make a sock fit better for each pattern and gives the standard size for the pattern which is nice since I generally have smaller feet than these patterns and Nathan has bigger feet than these patterns. Anyway, here is my progress.

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So technically, my swatch was smaller than the pattern and yet the sock is still a bit bigger than I had expected. It might have to do with the yarn since I’m not using the silk/alt fiber that the author recommended but I can’t believe it’s as loose as it is. But I think most patterns are for ‘average’ sizes which probably means it’s meant for a size Woman 8 and I’m a 7 so that might make a difference. Damn, that picture makes my foot and calf look fat…Anyway, I ought to log since this post is so random. Take care and eat healthy food!

And if you don’t blast this clip and watch it…well…something is wrong with you 😛

29
Oct
09

tallahassee

I love Woody Harrelson.

He’s super sexy and really into talking about smoking weed which is kind of awesome. That and we just saw Zombieland and he was super fun in that and apparently he’s a vegan and does a lot of activism. Brangelina was so 2005….plus I totally have never liked A.Jolie. Ok, in Lara Croft she was kind of awesome at the time but we watched the movies a few months ago and god was it awful. Anyway, back to Woody…he’s just really unique in that he can do and wear stuff in movies and pull it off.

The movie was pretty good except it was pretty scary for me. I actually screamed which was totally embarrassing but I don’t think it was too loud but still…humiliating. I don’t know why I’m so afraid of movies since I know logically there weren’t velociraptor in my Grandparent’s house, or that creepy Japanese horror undead weren’t in the bathroom as I took a shower, and logically I should have known that there wasn’t an axe-murder in the bathroom or zombies. But it didn’t stop me from practically running out of the movie bathroom since right before I walked in there was this scary poster for The Fourth Kind or whatever. The bathroom was totally deserted and I kept thinking ‘what if someone is in the stall next to me and I’m going to die while peeing?’…Pee Faster! Pee Faster! was my mantra and then I kept turning around while washing my hands because I didn’t trust the mirrors with my reaction time…but I still took the time to open the door with a paper towel since I didn’t want germs.

Then I had to go and watch Zombieland and well…no spoilers…but I was scared the rest of the night. Good movie though. Just wish I wasn’t so afraid of scary movies.

We also went to the bookstore and picked up some things and I got a new knitting book that looks really awesome and helps with sock/knitting design. I’m excited. Anyway, my sock is coming together nicely…I’ve turned the heel and really pretty close to being done…hopefully.

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Looks more like a sock now I suppose.

Went to the Farmer’s Market and it definitely had a different feel from the earlier months since the wind has been picking up lately and the tourism has really died out. I feel kind of bad because I didn’t pick up any squash because I really didn’t want to walk half a mile with a bunch of heavy squash. I already get sore feet and achy shoulders from carrying it all back to the laundry mat that I figured I’d just buy some at the grocery. I did see some lovely squash flowers and picked up more of my Dahlia’s.

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I don’t think we’re going to eat the Spaghetti squash but instead might do some carving since I only bought one big pumpkin since they weigh a ton. I’m planning on roasting the Acorn Squash and then filling it with a wild rice pilaf which I’m excited about since I have some chestnuts that I’m going to throw in. I also got a sweet pumpkin for my pie that I make. Still gotta try and find some evaporated soy milk online but I keep forgetting.

Anyway, I didn’t want the flowers to go bad so I thought I’d make Butternut Squash ravioli with a Sage-Butter sauce with a side of Bean Stuffed Squash flowers. Many of the stuffed squash flower recipes were either with cheese or some weird vegan nut cheese recipe that I just didn’t have the energy to make. Instead, I pureed a can of Great Northern beans with some garlic, thyme, and some sea salt. Removed the stems and the stamen since I read that most flowers are the males since they let the females develop and whatnot. I did find a little caterpillar nestled in one of the flowers so I helped him outside into the green grass. Washed and shook dry and made a slice on one side of the flower for easier stuffing action. I must say, I’m proud of my little bean dip and I really want to make some more for dipping veggies and bread in. I made about 20 stuffed flowers and ended up using all of the bean spread (with a little bit for me to eat off the spatula). I pan fried them although I think a lot of people deep fry them. Set them on a paper toweled plate in the oven at 250 to keep warm while I finished off the pasta and sauce.

I really need to remember to buy a pasta roller/machine thing because making pasta dough is easy but I never can roll it out as nicely as I want to since it dries out, won’t roll, and generally is a bitch. I managed to make 9 raviolis and they were pretty dough heavy but I did stuff them to the brim. I got the recipe off the food network…basically roast the squash and get a cup of insides and puree it…slice up some shallots, cook in some oil, add puree and let cool. Then stuff. For the sauce…just melted butter with some sage that I left cook while the pasta was boiling. Topped it off with some minced flat-leaf parsley. I think it’s an Emeril recipe and I just omitted the dairy for those who want to look it up.

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These blossoms really reminded me of tamales since the bean puree was thick and the petals wrapped nicely around the filling. I must say these were delicious and I still have more that only need to be fried up so it will be a good snack. I really was motivated to make the filling with beans since I wanted to get a fair amount of complete protein even though I know that some vegans don’t think it’s necessary for each meal but we really hadn’t gotten much protein today. Unfortunately, Nathan was totally weirded out by them. Well, partially my fault since I told him about the caterpillar I found in one of the flowers so he was freaked out that there were bugs in them. And he knows, logically, that we eat bugs all the time and that a little bug here and there isn’t a big deal…but he can’t get around that phobia which is ok. Plus, I kind of have to force him to eat flowers in salads since for some reason it freaks him out. Oh well, I loved them and it just means more for me!

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Those little flowers barely had any room on that plate! Well, I have to admit it wasn’t my favorite dish and I probably won’t try it again. I think I may just not have a tolerance for Butternut Squash right now…it was just a bit too overwhelming. I only ate 3 of my 4 and it was hard because it was just too much squash. Even if I made them smaller I would have to make another dish to fill me up which just seems insane since I spent about 3 hours making dinner (including roasting time so it wasn’t always active time). I was surprised that I ate the sage since I’ve always hated the smell because it’s always so pungent that it gives me a headache. But it was mellow in this dish and I did like that. Overall, a very beautiful dish but I think next time I’ll stick to my tofu ricotta ravioli. And not tell Nathan about the one bug I found in the flowers haha.

Some of my flowers were burgered so I had to cut off the stems but I filled a small bowl with water and placed it in the bathroom for a bit of a Central American representation in two rooms.

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I love these flowers..have I mentioned that yet? They’re like my fall Daffodil…so bright and lovely and I just want to lay in a field of them…but who knows…I think they grow like bushes but still….maybe a field with tall grasses and Dahlia bushes. I remember my childhood when I see these flowers. In Santa Barbara I explored so much; the lagoons with their succulent plants that always seemed to be in bloom, the tall grasses of my elementary school where a bunch of kids would tunnel through the grasses like rodents making our paths, and the Family Student Housing gardens that always had fields of poppies that I used to lie down in while watching the sun set. I love playing online games and I really hate having to defend them from those who think that players give up on life and only enter the ‘world’ through a certain virtual reality. But I think that so much of our memories and realities are self-conditioned and our society shapes our realities much more which can be devastating for some. Dealing with racism, physical hardships, socioeconomic gaps, the list goes on…but all those realities can be hard to deal with and I’m not saying that we should advocate for complete escapism or lack of activism but sometimes certain activities can be freeing. I have a lot of good memories from online games but I realize that I can’t always use it as an extension of my reality because Santa Cruz (and the world) has so much beauty in both traditional senses and non-traditional senses. And with my last post, I think of how these games can actually create communities and to a certain extent friendships as well…there is so much developing in virtual worlds that it still hasn’t set up as many boundaries even after a decade or more of their existence. I suppose that we question virtual realities so much that it irritates me since no one ever really questioned television for so long even though I think it can be really unhealthy and promote a certain level of complacency towards knowledge and news. I’m not as well learned as I should be and I really have to search for a lot of cross references half the time because I hate feeling ignorant. I think part of that is having such an academically geared family that I feel like I need to know so much and I don’t let myself off the hook for much. That and the fact that Trivial Pursuit always makes me feel dumb since we always play the older version so of course I don’t know half the things that my elders do. Plus, I’m really not competitive, although I am with Nathan maybe because I feel like we’re on a similar playing ground so I don’t feel so dumb.

I’ve been really into thinking about different learning processes lately because I feel like part of the reason why I can’t understand or learn certain things has to do with the way I learn. I was always really good at learning music….I taught myself at least 4 different instruments and I’ve always been really visual. Like I was telling my mom the other day…I didn’t roll my eyes as much as she thought but I actually try to visualize things when people talk to me so I roll my eyes up to imagine. It wasn’t until Nathan asked me why I was rolling my eyes at him years ago that I realized that it was off putting. What? Rolling my eyes? Well I did roll my eyes a lot and when my mom would get mad I would roll my eyes because I was thinking ‘here she goes again’ but for the most part I was just thinking. Even when I write I stare at the wall a lot forming my ideas and figuring out what I want to write…it’s annoying. Nathan has learned to adapt to this though but he still randomly asks ‘ what are you staring at?’ to which I have to explain that I’m trying to imagine the scenario in which he’s talking about. Like with knitting….well part of the reason why it was hard to learn was because a lot of it was the English way which I think is knitting with the right hand…but also because they would write out how to do things and I couldn’t picture it. I really have to look up videos or pictures of how to do certain stitches, methods, etc to learn knitting. Same with sewing…my mom taught me during Thanksgiving years ago and I picked it up rather quickly because it was hands-on and I could visualize what I needed to do.

Or another thing…when people tell me their phone numbers or how to spell something I need them to go really slow…like one letter…pause…another letter…pause…I had to ask Nathan some number the other day and he had to start over 2 times because it was too fast for me…because I try to imagine the numbers first before typing them…but when someone spews off a bunch of numbers or letters I just can’t grasp it….

Who knows…maybe I’m just dumb. haha. But I wonder why I picked up on music so quickly…It’s weird because Nathan (I refer to him too much) can memorize lyrics so easily but I never remember lyrics to the point that I continue to sing wrong ones even though I know the correct ones. But we were talking about it and I think part of the reason is because I listen more to the music rather than the lyrics, the lyrics are an afterthought. I’m working on that but maybe my years in band and being around music makes me prone to picking up the little details of the music. I really should look up studies on the left-handed brain or on other learning issues because I feel like people learn in so many different ways. It’s amazing…not only the brain but also our bodies in relation to our organs…our culture…our society…or global community. Nuts. And I don’t feel particularly artistic…never have…even when I excelling at music at so much. It just flowed…

It’s been hard learning to knit though especially now that I’m reading up on the math and dimensions of design…it’s new so I hope that my current confusion will dissipate with more reading and studying. I really am kind of excited about calling myself an ‘artist’ once I get more experienced. And I can’t wait until people ask me ‘what I do’…because I’ll say…’well, my first job is taking care of my home with my partner and making good food and living as eco/ethically as we can and my second job is being an artist’. How cool is that? Working two things that I love…well mostly love…gotta hate the cleaning and the knitting mistakes. Anyway, take care all and eat yummy food.

 

 

25
Oct
09

I need a rain dance pls.

Why won’t it rain more?

I’m sick of it being gloomy and rainy and then sunny and way too warm for 4 days straight. Bah, I want my rain. But I can’t do much about it except wait for evening when the fog usually rolls in and it’s beautiful.

I’ve been doing a lot of knitting on my corn socks. Yes, corn yarn. It feels super soft although I’ve been warned never to iron them unless I went a hot, sticky, sugary mess….but I rarely iron my clothing unless it’s something that really gets wrinkly. I’m not sure if this book sort of sucks in terms of the editor or publisher because I know that one pattern has some serious issues and I even emailed the publishing house for the correct pattern and they totally copped out and sent me a link to a site that was basically a woman’s blog and she happened to notice some of the errors and made a corrected chart. Unfortunately, I didn’t want the chart since I had already been to that site but I wanted to check and see if there were more corrections. Bah, anyway, I’m not going to even bother with that pattern.

I’m really wondering if knitters have to play with patterns a lot or if this book just didn’t get as much attention to detail as it should have because this sock pattern is a wee bit off. And I’m totally following directions and rereading them, looking up the types of stitches to double check that I did learn the correct way to do it…and still it’s a bit off. It’s really the heel, the rib pattern wasn’t layering quite right so I adjusted it but the rib moved over a few stitches. I haven’t had difficulty with other patterns from online, magazine, or other book sources before so I’m really wondering if these designers had other people make them to make sure the patterns worked. Who knows but I really don’t want to give up on this book because it has some really interesting patterns and deals with a lot of interesting yarns instead of the regular animal fibers.

So, back to my point, my socks are coming out nicely and except for a minor flaw they look pretty good. I still have about 5 more rounds to do before I turn the heel and I’m pretty excited to be making socks for the first time. It sounds boring but if I want to start doing designs and such I need hands-on experience and besides…I love socks. I’m using Crystal Palace Yarns “Maizy” which has 18% elastic nylon which should be good for stretching and shaping….and I got it in Stormy Purple.

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Small pic, and hard to see, but the cuff has 5 cables which was rather annoying and I’m glad to be done with them. I don’t mind cables but the yarn is quite fine and doing  about 12 of them in a row gets annoying. I’m not usually a fan of multi-colored yarn but I think for some projects it really makes them more interesting. I’ll try to keep updating my progress and hopefully I won’t do something wrong and have to unravel…

In between my knitting I have made some new food although the salad was pretty basic but oh so yummy. I’ve been really scared of trying heirloom tomatoes because they look like aliens and I’m still overcoming my fear of tomatoes. Sure I eat them all the time but certain things just scare me for some reason…fried green tomatoes? I feel like there are worms in there but I’m not sure if that was from the book that I read when I was younger or if I just made it up in my head…or sun dried tomatoes…my mom used to try and force me to eat them and I would literally gag…it was like my throat would close up and I was getting sucked down a tube and my life was fading from me and then…I would spit it onto the plate rather than sacrifice my life for a stupid, nasty tomato. So I have issues…but I told myself that I need to woman up and buy them before I regretted it. So here they are…my lovely tomatoes from the farmer’s market.

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I really loved the peach looking tomato and it was rather sweet in comparison to the green one which was definitely tart and less juicy. The red one tasted a bit like a regular tomato but perhaps I haven’t developed my heirloom tomato palate. Peachy, since I didn’t look at their official names, had a beautiful marbled interior that was amazing to look at and I kept the slices large so that we could enjoy the colors as well and experience different tastes and sizes as they filled our mouth. I know, that sounds a bit pervy but I stick to my claim that most food is super sexy and we might as well enjoy it. Tried out a pretty basic recipe from one of my cook books but I only had sourdough in the fridge which made it look a bit less impressive than italian country bread that I think the recipe recommended. Basically toasted the bread in the oven and spooned the nut,garlic, olive oil mix onto it and let it toast for an extra minute. I probably didn’t need to let it toast more since the recipe used cheese which would have melted it but oh well. Totally great side dish to our dinner and I kept eating the left overs out of the bowl the rest of the night.

I’ve been really into hand mixing lately which I know is good for the food since we can better gauge, season, and handle the dish and plus it does give an organic feeling to cooking. I still use spoons to mix up the liquids initially since I don’t want my hand covered in dough but I really do love feeling doughs and foods in my hands. So, I hand mixed the seasonings and liquids of this salad especially since I didn’t want to break any of my Maters. It’s kind of silly how basic this recipe is and Nathan thought it tasted a lot like Bruschetta which it did after he said it. So basically I made a larger version of it and I can’t believe I fell for that cook’s recipe! He should have named it ‘Fancy Bruschetta’ but I’m not really all that mad but it does feel weird when we think certain foods are new and exciting and then we realize that we’ve had similar dishes before and it’s not as exotic as it initially seemed.  But maybe that’s the anthropology background I grew up around…always exotizing cultures and people…but now I’ve shifted it over to food. Omg, I’m a horrible person…

So let’s shift gears because I don’t want to dwell on my new discovery. I made some more turnovers which came out better than the originals but I still have a bit of a hard time getting them to seal. I let it defrost in the fridge for about 4 hours and made the filling…peeled two ripe pears, mixed in some cornstarch, turbinado sugar, cinnamon, and a dash of nutmeg. Hand mixed again since the pears were really ripe and I thought that a spoon would break them apart.

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I actually remembered to sugar the tops before I baked them! I’m proud of myself for that since they came out a bit salty since the vegan butter I have access to has salt mixed in so I can’t control that aspect of the dough. I did omit the salt that was in the recipe but it still was a bit salty since I had forgotten to add sugar to the tops and it really did offset the salt. I’m thinking of buying another measuring tape since I use this one for baking all the time. I’m really bad with measurements…I always think an inch is way smaller which is why I keep my soft measuring tape near me when I knit because I have no concept of length. I’m still having trouble with the seal and I used rice milk which didn’t seem all that great. I usually use flax seed but I ran out and I keep forgetting to buy more so I’ll have to try that next time. Another issue which I’m sure is probably partially my fault are the layers…the foto isn’t as great but when they came out of the oven I could really see the layers but I still feel like I could have gotten more puffiness and flakiness. I may not be an official pastry student but I’ve read a lot of different sources, looked at tutorials, and watched a lot of videos on how to prepare the dough all the way to baking it…so I feel like I have a rather good grasp as to handling the dough and I chilled it a lot between the steps because it was getting a bit warm that day. Anyway, my point is that I wonder if animal fats/veggie shortening work differently than vegan butter in the mechanics of dough. Maybe I’m just expecting a ton of puffiness from my first puff pastry dough and that probably isn’t realistic. They tasted great and I would say that about half of them sealed up and the over half burst open the second I put them on the baking stone…but it was really amazing to see them puff up rather quickly. I could have over filled them too since I’m fairly new to pastries but over all it was really satisfying

To sum up the last two paragraphs…Lots of work, I’m a noob so the pastries probably didn’t come out as well but I decided to blame everything else since theoretically I knew what I was doing. Haha, now I need to make more to prove that I can make fantastic looking pastries.

Let’s see, I wonder if I have any new rants to go on about. Well, Santa Cruz has officially banned smoking downtown, west cliff, and by our area which really makes my blood boil. We’re seriously going to fine people who smoke to generate income for the county which is the 4th most expensive place to live in the U.S. When we went to Monterey I noticed they had ashtrays attached to the trash cans which was really great because people don’t have to litter. But Santa Cruz has the brilliant idea of not putting many recycling bins downtown and no ashtrays and then they decide to bitch about cleaning up. When we went up to Natural bridges the roads were all being repaved but they weren’t even horrible to begin with but lower downtown, beach hill, beach flats, and numerous other parts of SC are in major need of repair but they decide to repave the roads where there are million dollar houses. And it’s conflicting to me because I rant and rave about this but I don’t feel like I have much of a right to say anything because I don’t consider myself a local and I don’t intend on living in this city for the rest of my life. I suppose I feel like it’s appropriation if I start looking for ways to improve the city since it’s not my city.

SC has major housing, homeless, and general city issues but they never focus on these problems but instead decide to pull stupid bans that only serve to bring in money. Everyone likes to think of SC as so liberal and it is in some ways…culturally I suppose, but I feel like our civil liberties are being violated when things like this happen. They argue that it’s better for children…well I think walking by a person smoking for 30 sec is going to do a lot less damage than the fact that we’ve taken P.E. out of many schools, many children (and adults) are eating hormone-pumped, genetically modified, trans-fat, etc food, are inhaling exhaust/smog and I could probably think of a million more things.

Really, drinking coffee is probably worse than that…and to be honest I don’t think smoking downtown is that big of a problem…maybe one person for every two blocks? And seriously, how many drug deals go on that aren’t dealt with and I think that is more dangerous than this new ban.

I really hate what the U.S. is becoming…or is. And I know, before anyone posts, that we’ve been eating genetically modified foods for a long time…like corn…but that also took a lot longer and the way First world countries have forced the world to obliterate so many strains of food is horrible and dangerous when a new pest or disease worms it way into our perfect, bland food.

I really want to move away from this country but it’s going to take a lot of work and even then I know it’s not a solution and I remember criticizing my peers for wanting to do the same thing. But in a way I think I justify my desire because both Nathan and I come from families of immigrants and in a lot of ways we had very migratory lives. When people ask where I’m from I honestly don’t know what to say…I usually say ‘down south’ since it’s somewhat true but what is my hometown? I don’t know…is it where I was born but didn’t live? or The place I was at longest…well technically I suppose SC is the longest but I divide my time here by my mental well being…the first few years were really hard and I didn’t venture out or even really realize my surroundings.

And if I move I know there is that criticism of wanting to move to a European country…as if I’m falling into that colonial state of mind in that I want to become like them and be the white colonial power. But I think it’s wrong to think in that old frame of mind because we’re neglecting to see the millions of post-colonial subjects that live in the EU and who have voices and communities and are very much trying to claim their right to be there. And to be honest, certain countries seem easier to move to…like not learning another language is a plus but this is still a dream of mine that I’m attempting to research so as to make it a reality. But it’s problematic because I know there are conflicts wherever I go but perhaps I want to choose which fights I can join instead of feeling tired of having to justify why I don’t want a huge house or why want to part of the traditional working sector.

I think I realize as I grow older how hard it is for people who have moved a lot to claim an identity. If I move to another country I’ll finally have a more solid identity…as a foreigner…an ex-pat, and American. And I’m not saying I want to become some huge nationalist to a new country and go on about how much better it is than the U.S. (although I think most countries have many and different aspects that are better) or that the U.S. is a horrible place but instead I just would like to live somewhere else. If someone moves cities it’s not a big political deal but saying I don’t want to live in the country has so many ramifications on both the nationalist and post-colonial sides. I’m screwed either way. I also don’t want to erase my history or identity but sometimes I feel like I can’t relate to most people because I’ve had such a mixed history. I had to learn how people acted in different parts of the state and then in C.A. and to adjust to that and then to figure out my own cultural identity which is at times insane. I’m not latina enough and I’m not white enough which is fine but I don’t want to justify myself by knowing big fancy spanish words.

I remember when I was at a conference in Honduras and it was discussion on Women’s rights and many of the ‘liberal/intellectual’ women were using very academic language that I couldn’t understand but of course I knew my spanish wasn’t as great as a native speaker. And yet at one point some women interrupted and they said they couldn’t understand and basically accusing them of patronizing them (or perhaps matronizing?) with these huge terms because they were indigenous and relatively poor in comparison yet they still wanted to organize. I felt really good after that because I may not have great skills but it’s very much apart of me and even though I do want to learn more I still know more than most people think. I have dreams in spanish and I think about my experiences all the time and that won’t ever change. But at the same time I have to recognize that I can’t really share the same experiences with other Salvadorans/Latino(a)s/Indigenous people because many of them have a collective memory or experience. Many lived in poor areas, or at least in the same community where they faced racisim together or perhaps had to leave their home country because of war but I feel like there is always something that binds them even if they still have their individual differences. And I know collective organizations/communities are problematic because one way or another select ideas/agendas/experiences get promoted over others so I know just because someone grew up in South Central L.A. doesn’t mean they feel connected to their community for that sole geographic/cultural reason but I think most times it does.

So where does that leave people like me or that minority of minorities that doesn’t feel connected? I don’t think it’s wrong to want to live a life that a person chooses, especially if we keep thinking about why we make those sorts of choices. I like to believe that I think more about what I do and don’t do than many of the world’s citizens but again…I’m privileged enough to get to questions and make choices and for that I’m grateful but it doesn’t mean that I owe this country my loyalty when it’s oppressed, murdered, enslaved, and generally stomped on my ancestors and others without a second thought. Where was the reflection and questioning of our governments? It still continues with us blindly agreeing that going to Iraq was important because somehow the attacks of 9/11 were directly linked to Iraq…

It’s really hard writing and hoping that people can read through my sarcasm, my exaggerations, my moods, and my political bull. Half the time I write without realizing that people will indeed read this but I try to be careful not to turn this into some sort of diary. I’ve never been very good at diaries actually so maybe this blog is really lame and meaningless. But I suppose in the grand scheme of things our lives are pretty mundane when we think of the plants and stars and the evolution of life…I think I’m becoming too self-reflective. I think being a libra amplifies this tendency because I try to be fair even though I’m far from it.

Anyway, I’ll sign off before I start questioning why I’m not going to continue to write. I’m posting this show that is super funny that I found on netflix and I can’t wait for the 4th season. The IT Crowd…just a clip but super funny. Just for context…Jen gets a bit of an ego after getting ’employee of the month’ and she doesn’t really know anything about computers…

Update: Embedding disabled but hopefully those who want to view it can still be viewed by clicking through to Youtube. Sorry ’bout that >.<

11
Jun
09

Pie? Mmmmm

Yay for summer time.

Lots of things have been happening in the world that have been really horrible, tragic, and concerning. But I try to remember that there is lots of suffering going on even when it’s not headlines. I’ve been really bothered by so many stories of wrongful or misunderstood imprisonments and I hope that by thinking of them that their stories and lives will be remembered and fought for even though they remain in horrible, unjust conditions. I heard recently of a blogger who might have taken his life after spending some time in prison and another from Yemen who did the same. It worries me that Americans often don’t question our own government in the treatment of prisoners, both foreign and domestic, since we often fall prey to patriotic propaganda and the likes. The notion that the government is infallible and always has our best interest at heart seems a bit naive on our part. I think I’m pretty cynical but I also hope that through my critical eye that we question everything around us for the sake of compassion and understanding of those who become muted and/or erased by our government. But it’s not just the U.S., I should admit that much, but many other countries, political groups, gangs, etc that forget their humanity in the struggle for power and dominance.

It’s also so weird that I’ve been thinking about this and yet I have a bit more respect for our local police that helped us out yesterday. We’ve been taking our walks for a few weeks now since we got our cool little nikes that don’t cripple our feet like our old ones did. Yesterday was a bit of a random day since I had some things to do so we didn’t start our walk until 7pm which is rather late for us but it’s been so light and warm out we still were able to exercise. We reached the top of the hill and were getting ready to cross the street when we noticed a man attempting to break into Nathan’s car. >.<  I was about to flip out at the guy but we calmly walked over and then of course Nathan laid into the guy….He had managed to pop out part of the back window and was trying to get it to go down when we found him but thankfully we got the window back in easily.

This guy starts giving us some bullshit about how it’s his friend’s car and how he lives at No.4 and he knows our manager Carlos….We totally laughed in hindsight….why would you break into a friend’s car in the first place? The guy who lives at No.4 is not named Steve….and our Manager isn’t named Carlos. The sad part is that he could have found out the manager’s name if he looked at the ‘For Rent sign…call J-‘. I just couldn’t believe the nerve of this guy especially since the only thing of value in Nathan’s car is an empty soda can. But this has actually happened numerous times…he’s actually gotten his license plates stolen and we got tickets because the DMV wasn’t open on the weekend when it happened. I had to buy a new drill kit because they stole his out of his trunk because he didn’t think anyone would break into his car….the list goes on. Granted he’s getting rid of his car because of major electrical problems but it’s still the principle.

And I’m totally for being a Narc being that we have to deal with this kind of stuff all the time. We even saw a couple walk by the guy and they didn’t even say anything…personally I would have called the cops if I witnessed a break in even if it turned out to be the owner who locked in his keys I still would want to make sure it wasn’t a break in. Especially in our neighborhood. It’s not even a bad neighborhood but we get so many transients and people who are just ‘scumbags’ to quote my neighbor. Seriously, we have an elderly home on our street and a lot of nice people but Santa Cruz just attracts a lot of people in our area…haha but I suppose it makes life a bit interesting as opposed to living on the Westside where everyone is loaded and kind of assholes to regular folks. Anyway, so we called the cops and tried to tail the guy but he turned into one of the apt. complexes near us and we’re pretty sure he just jumped a bunch of fences since the two streets that he would have taken are really long so it’s great visibility. The cops showed up really quickly and to be honest the female cop was kind of a bitch and looked at me funny…maybe my purple running shorts were seen as a fashion crime in her eyes. But the male officer was really nice and was joking around with us and every understanding. We got to watch him dust for fingerprints and I even helped out since his roll of tape was hard to peel and since I have long fingernails I can now say I partook in civic duty. I doubt they’ll catch the guy but if the fingerprints come up and he tries it again maybe it will help their case. It’s really odd because a lot of the cops can be jerks around here but I’ve also seen and heard from friends about really nice ones so I guess it’s like any profession…although I do think certain counties have a higher proportion of jerky cops but maybe I’m just biased. We actually had a friend who got fined for spitting which I thought was really over the top because I’ve grown up knowing, hearing, and seeing guys spit because they feel the need (even though personally I think it’s all in their heads because I’ve known way too many guys who don’t spit regularly). But he actually won his case but that is just a random story that I thought I should write….

Anyway, that was exciting….

In other news, Nathan finally hooked up my new monitor (from christmas) and installed his wireless mouse (also from christmas)…we’re not usually that lame about things but I knew Nathan would feel sad about not having a big screen even though he’s using my old screen which was bigger than his old one. Little puppy dog eyes totally get to me so I’m sure we’ll be getting him one also since we’re totally spoiled only-children. But I think we’re a bit unique because we’re not the kind of spoiled kids that want a bunch of stuff and need a bunch of attention but we definitely get jealous if one of us gets a shiny new toy. I’m still jealous of his iphone even though I like my little phone and I can’t ever work his touchscreen anyway…but now that they lowered the prices on them we might both get upgrades since he thinks his ‘old’ phone is too slow since it’s one of the OG iphones (original gangster). But the point is that we’re shiny addicts…we love new shiny boxes, shiny new books, dvds, it’s just so magical because it’s like christmas for us every time we buy something.

So I’ll have to take a picture of my new monitor but I’ve been kind of pathetic with taking pictures lately….too much work, I think. But I have taken some which I’ll present now…woohoo

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My awesome blueberry pie! Well, it tasted great and looked pretty good from the top but the recipe told me to make a mound in the center but I think I made it a bit big by the looks of the photo but it was my first one. I’ve waited an entire year for fresh summery blueberriers and $20US later I was stocked up with them and making my pie. Blueberries aren’t the cheapest berries for a pie but it was super good and they’re full of great things like anti-oxidants. Mmmm. Personally, I was thinking about going with the ‘joy of baking’ recipe but Martha is pretty consistent so I tried hers out. I think there wasn’t enough of something because the berries didn’t meld as much as I thought they would  and I’m think I should have mashed more of the berries than the recipe called for. Still yummy and maybe in a week or so I’ll make it again.

The only other picture is my celtic cable scarf which was taken two weeks ago ( I think) and it’s longer now but still going slowly since it’s hard to find time between the cooking and cleaning and the bike riding.

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The flash kind of washed out the cables since the shadows show the depth and interweaving more but every time I tried it with no flash it was blurry. It must have been me or something because I’ve taken the flash off before and it was fine. Anyway, it’s more a magenta then a pepto pink…not sure if it looks girly but I like bright colors. It was kind of nice because I went to the bookstore and picked up a knitting magazine and the checkout woman was asking me what I was working on and talking to me about knitting. Sometimes I feel like I’m projecting some 1950s image but when I meet people who like similar things or understand my work it’s both relieving and wonderful to connect with someone.

I didn’t start this scarf as a celtic cable scarf since a. I thought it might be a little euro-centric of me and b. everyone loves those cables. But after a few failed attempts at the triple twist cable I figured I ought to switch for my sanity. To be honest, I’ve been a bit conflicted about my cooking and knitting b/c I spend so much time cooking that I don’t get as much knitting in as I’d like. I’ve been thinking of toning down my cooking menus but I feel bored if I eat a meal twice in one week, excluding salads. I think I’m still in awe of vegan cooking and discovering all I can do. I’ve always loved working with my hands and touching things so cooking is so fascinating and there is so much to learn from vegan cooking in terms of binding agents, leavening agents, and substituting the right thing in regard to flavor. So maybe I’ll eventually get into more of a cooking pattern so I can delve into knitting more. I have so much to learn and since it’s all self taught I have many disasters and frustrations but so much more enjoyment. Plus I think it’s a bit easier to sell knit items than cooking stuff unless I make a cookbook. At this point I’m trying to focus on gaining more skill, making some presents, and hopefully being able to turn out some easy, warm, and functional items for the winter for the charity organizations. I actually saw last week that an immigrant workers union is looking for warm clothing, blankets, and food items for their clients (not sure if that is the correct term) so I’m really hoping to make some items for them as well. Plus the vet we go to is always asking for blankets for their animals since they are in partnership with some adoption agencies so I think about doing something for them too.

I guess I just want to help others while at the same time I want to earn money off of my future talent. I’m still learning so much though that I can’t really expect to make patterns and items until I invest more time and money into knitting but I still think about these things. I remember one time in one of my anthro classes that this one student was complaining that these elderly women were knitting items for the organization she worked for that helped women and children in africa that were suffering from issues such as disease, aids/hiv, lack of food, etc. And she was saying that instead of knitting these blankets that they should have been donating money because their items were impractical. Even though I hadn’t picked up knitting at that point, I was still upset because people still need those sorts of items and if the issue was that the yarn was too heavy for the climate then why didn’t they approach the knitters about making more light weight items…or making knit diapers (which I’ve seen some really crazy, time consuming ones) or even knit mosquito nets? I suppose I was upset by the ungrateful attitude of the student who obviously didn’t know how much time goes into those items and they obviously picked that organization to help. They could have sent those items to E. Europe, or Asia, or the colder regions of the Americas. I guess it upset me that she was looking a gift horse in the mouth….I think that is the phrase…if not I’ll come back and correct it. haha.

In light of all that has been happening in California, I think they should nominate me as the new Miss California because I do want world peace and I want to help out even though I don’t make six figures and I don’t think money is always the answer. How many times have governments and corrupt groups taken aid and money and never helped those who were starving and dying? We donate to our local radio station a few times a year, give tips,  and try to lessen our impact on the world and yet so many others only care about if they have the newest Tiffany’s bracelet or fancy new car. None of which are bad (although I would still argue about blind consumerism) but I think we need to pull together as a people, nation, and world and help each other out. I think most religions would agree. And I’m not even trying to be a saint because I love bottled water, I love my new nikes, I love being wealthy enough to buy organic and fair trade, and I love being a first world citizen…I even ::gasp:: consume dairy once a week which goes against our veganism. I suppose I’m just sick of people saying they’re too strapped to give back or are too busy….what about volunteering? or what about not maxing out their credit because our society practically forces us to consume excessively. Ugh…I’ll stop this rant. I think Disney corrupted me with ‘It’s a Small World’ ride. Even though we don’t go to church and we’re not really religious I think we’re good followers of Jeezy Creezy. Every time I wear my Nino de Atocha or St. Francis de Assisi necklace I go into the world thinking about those groups that they help. Maybe it’s silly and superstitious but deep down I pray that they will help the prisoners, travelers, or lost animals and guide them to a path that leads to their safety…haha maybe I am a bit more of a Catholic than I think I am.

Anyway, I need to post more because I tend not to rant as much but I’m pretty sure only my family reads this ::waves:: I think I’m safe.

I’m going to end with a great video link of a World of Warcraft movie that players love and many people make great movies but this group is one of my favorites.Until next time….eat good food and be happy.




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