Sunday, August 27, 2006

Just curious to see if I can post a message from my phone. Not that it's a convenient way to type...

Friday, August 25, 2006

Two posts in one day

I just want to add my enthusiasm that the REDS are tied with the CARDINALS for first place! Yay! They've been in second place in their division (and first place in the wild card race) for quite a while now, and even though I know that the season still has more than a month to go, I am delighted that they are staying in this race and have a real shot at the playoffs.

Seriously, I'm mostly excited that they look to end the season over .500 and it's nice to hear the guys on Baseball Tonight have anything positive to say. A playoff spot would be the cherry.

Recent Travel

Last weekend I went to new york city. I flew jetBlue for the first time. In general it was a good experience - nice people, fun to watch TV on the plane and quick boarding. The downside was dealing with JFK. We got in a little late because the plane was late leaving JFK to get us and then when we arrived it took 30 minutes to get the jetway to work. On the way back, I was in the plane for almost two hours before we took off. Not awful, but clearly JFK evening traffic is bad.

There were three reasons for my trip. #1 - to see my best friend and her husband, #2 - The Haystack, #3 - Sweeney Todd. I haven't seen Rebecca and Lee since our (Rebecca and my) 10th high school reunion in November 2004. It was great to see their place, meet their second dog and spend some much-needed time together. R unfortunately couldn't join me for the weekend, but Rebecca hopes to come visit us in the spring. We're both kind of bad about calling, but we've gotten somewhat better now that she has a "regular" job and is done with medical school and her residency. :-)

You can find out the basics of The Haystack at Let me just say that it was hard. I had a certain understanding of how hard it would be, but the sample puzzles on the site seemed easier than the ones we did. You can find the 18 puzzles on the site. I think the difficulty was that each puzzle had a number of layers, so if you couldn't solve the first layer of the puzzle, you couldn't go any further with it. And, you could only get points for solving the associated "hideout" puzzle if you also solved the "crime scene" puzzle with the same number. The crime scene puzzles were harder, and it took us a little while to realize that we should solve the crime scenes first, because if you didn't get that then the time spent on the associated hideout was just wasted.

I don't mean to sound like a downer - it was a very fun day and there is nothing like the rush of solving something! I'm proud of the work we did and we were all relieved that we didn't come in last. ;-)

On Sunday, Rebecca and I went to see Sweeney Todd. Fabulous! The acting, directing, design and the whole concept were wonderful. I thought that the limited orchestration served Sondheim's music well and the cast was impressively talented in their abilities to act, play, and shift scenes and props for the entire show. And I enjoyed when Mrs. Lovitt knitted. :-)

I'll admit that I have no background with this show. It's one of the few CDs of a Sondheim show that I didn't own (until now), so I have no comparison of this production to previous interpretations. I've heard things about previous performances, but I didn't know the music or the story before Sunday.

There are two ways that I typically see shows. The first, is the way that I saw Sweeney - kind of a blank slate where I can really see the show rather objectively. Not knowing the lyrics and music by heart, or being emotionally tied to the show means that I can have a much more "in the moment" reaction to what's on stage. The other way I see shows occurs most often, where I have listened to the CD enough that I have practically memorized the music and grown to love the show without ever having seen it.

Interestingly, I find that I remember the productions with much more clarity when my first exposure was in the theater. When I've learned the music and lyrics first, my imagination of the show tends to mingle with the production and make my memory less clear.

I could probably ramble on about this for a while, but I'll save that for another post. I'll just add that once I get the 2005 Broadway Cast album in my head, I'll be anxious to hear other versions of Sweeney and see any productions available on DVD.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

What I'm knitting now

(There are more updates on other topics, but I can only handle one at a time for the moment.)

I finished the shrug a week and a half ago, but I haven't woven in ends or blocked it. It fits, but I'm not really sure when I'm going to wear it. I think that's why I have done the finishing.

My bus/travel project at the moment is a ribbed v-neck sweater from IK summer 2006. Thanks to the major back-ups at JFK on Friday and Sunday evenings, I'm nearly to the v-neck split on the front. I even worked a little of it on the NYC subway. :-)

I started a log cabin blanket with my cone of purple cotton. I'm doing the first ridge of each block in navy cotton for contrast. I'm on the third row and it's feeling considerable slower. So I think I'm likely to make 4 or 6 blocks with 3 rows each rather than keep growing the blanket out of one square. I was not smart enough to wind off a ball from the cone, so until I finish the first square, this project is tethered to a 5 lb cone of yarn.

I haven't gone back to finish the iPod cozy I was working on during our camping trip. I don't think it will take much to finish, but it is a bit fussy and I'm finding that the fairly mindless garter and 2x2 rib are a good match for my brain at the moment. Although I do expect that I'll start something in lace before too long.

I helped a friend with the machine sewing of her wild stripes ( blanket last night. Forced to run the sewing machine, I was pretty happy with the results and reminded that the hard part is the prep work and pinning. The actually sewing is basically a breeze - even when you're sewing piping and you don't have the right foot attachment for piping. It reminds me that the hard part is done for the projects I have sitting around which are pinned but not sewn...

To come:
Visit to NYC
The Haystack
Sweeney Todd
A little more demolition
...and hopefully some photos

Monday, August 14, 2006

I'll be honest

Lately, posting to the blog has just seemed like one more task I need to accomplish. One more thing on the to do list. One more way to get "behind".

This doesn't mean that I'm giving up on it. It just means that I need to come up with a new strategy for fitting into everyday life.

Writing a quick text post on my lunch break or coffee break is easy. But then there are the pictures that I want to post that I can only post from home. Or that I've been meaning to take but haven't actually taken yet. And there are the knitting patterns that I've been meaning to write down, and haven't.

So please bear with me while I try to figure out how to prevent the blog from being a burden and try to keep you lovely readers and me happy at the same time.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Don't want to whine

It's hot. I don't want to whine, so I'm not going to make this post very long. If I write for too long, I'll start whining.

I'm just writing to do a knitting update. I'm on version #2 of the shrug. The first iteration was too big. It made me look like I had wings. I have high hopes for this attempt. And with 5 hours in the car today for work, I made great progress.

It's time to get in bed and lie under the ceiling fan to prevent whining.

It's hot.