Sunday, April 30, 2006

Spring is Officially HERE!

And it's about time, if you ask me. Today, the girls and I were asked by the lovely Carolyn and Meg to Meg's place for a dinner party. I received this invitation in my mailbox a few days ago. The other side read:
* Welcome, Spring. Party *
You're Invited
Given by Meg & Carolyn
At Dexter House
On April 29th. Saturday.
At 5 pm.
Please wear a sundress or skirt.
Even if it is cold.

And so
we went April 29th. Saturday in our skirts and sundresses for a welcome spring party. The food was spectacular. They made chicken cooked with sliced apples, fresh mozerella and tomatoes, asparagus, and cheese and garlic bread. It was amazing. And if that was not enough, Carolyn made Apple Pie for dessert.

It was delicious - as you can probably already tell.

I can't belive that there are only 11 days of Gordon Spring '06 left. As much as I want all this school work to be over with, I don't want to see this year end. Holly is graduating and going to Seattle. Meg is studying abroad in Scotland. I can't bare to not see these two spectacular girls daily. I love you both very much. You all mean the world to me. Pinky swear.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Holy, LAND!

Holy Crap! I leave for Israel in 17 Days. I know I made reference to this like two posts ago, but it just HIT me. My parents gave me the Eyewitness Travel Guide to Jerusalem and the Holy Land for Christmas. I flipped through it, but to be honest (sorry Mom) I hadn't actually taken a serious look at it until tonight. If you are ever going to Israel (or are just interested) I strongly recommend this guide! We will be studying at (and living) Jerusalem University College. This is one of the more famous views of the college. Isn't it gorgeous? Eventually you will be seeing pictures similar to this that I took on my own. I cannot wait. My biggest fear is running out of memory on my camera. I was reading in the travelers guide on what to buy in Jerusalem. There are all sorts of neat things like beautiful silver and pewter jewelry and beauty products from the dead sea. Mom, now you got something to look forward to, don't you?

Some fun facts about Jerusalem that you probably didn't know:
* 140 languages are spoken in Jerusalem?
* 35% of all UN resolutions have to do with Israel
* 20-25% of Israel's population is currently from Russia
* 2% of the population is Christian

I don't think I can tell you how excited I am for this trip. I am VERY excited!!!!!!!!!!!! (extra "!" just for your Meg darling)

Oh, speaking of excitement. I finished the Yarn Harlot's Knitting Rules today. It was wonderful, although I must admit my favorite is still The Secret Life of a Knitter. Hysterical I tell ya! The only problem is now I have to find something new to read. Guess that won't be as big of a problem considering all the work I have to do in the next two weeks. Oh, final exams... why do you cause me so much pain?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Juan Strikes Again!

Today is my three month blogging anniversary.

The monkeys came to wish me the best until the next aniversary. They tell me that they read my blog regularly and that they really enjoy it (I think they were just being nice).

The college that I attend is a non-denominational Christian colle"ge. As a requirement for graduation we have to attend 30 chapel services a semester. They are not always enjoyable and so I bring my knitting. There were many knitters before me who did this. They did this before knitting became the trend that it is now. It is a long time traditon at Gordon College. I was knitting in chapel today - of course. Juan, who has been slack on his knitting lately, didn't have anything to do with his hands and so was playing with my ball of yarn. He tossed it to our friend Laura who was holding it hostage. In a struggle to rescue my ball of yarn, the loose needle crashed to the floor. It went rolling and rolling, and no one stopped it. It finally stopped 5 rows in front of us. For those of you who aren't aware, this is every knitters worst nightmare. I sat in the pew trying to resist the urge to get up and go searching for my needle. I resisted and after the service was finished Laura rescued my needle for me. Oh Juan, always causing trouble!

I received the yarn my mom sent me in the mail today. The yellow is much better this time. And the green yarn that Laurel and Mom picked out for me is beautiful. I also received another hank of yarn to finish off the purse that I posted a picture of yesterday. Here is the yarn:

It's beautiful I know! There is no need to fill the comment board with all your awe of the beauty of this yarn. Here is the other "ugly" yarn.
I dont know if the picture quality really shows the "ugliness" of the yarn. I wrote the owner of the online store I bought it from and complained about the tardiness and she offered to let me exchange it. I can't decide if I should exchange it or not. I would have to pay for shipping to return it and I can't decide if I'd like it for a project for later. Or if I should get a color I know I'll like and make another purse or something. I'm on this purse kick lately... wonder how long it will last.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Hip Hop and Such

I changed my ringtone today. Having the phone for nearly 2 years with the same ringtone, Juan and I decided it was time for a new one. It is now called Hip Hop. The old one was called Rock Me. I am not really sure why. So that's what new in my life.

I am slowly getting over the fact that I didn't see the Yarn Harlot when she was only a half hour from where I live (check out her blog to see the crowd that did show up!). To begin the recovery process my mom went to our local yarn shop and bought me some yarn she thought I would like and is sending it my way. Hopefully the package will arrive tomorrow in the mail. It will include the yarn to finish the purse I am currently working on for Laurel... As well as the yarn (in the right color) for the purse I had wanted to knit for Laurel for her birthday and some yarn for a purse that I am going to make for myself! I'll post a picture as soon as I get it. The purse I had made for myself (my second felted purse) is beginning to see some wear. So I thought I'd make myself a new purse. Even though it is getting to be warmer I have a lot of knitting still on my plate. 1. The scarf for Aunt Melinda 2. The lace scarf (which is my slow-im-taking-my-time prokect) 3. Finish Laurel's Purse 4. Start purse for Laurel 5. Purse for me 5. Baby bib and baby hat for my future cousin (using patterns from Leigh Radford's new book One Skein).

Did I tell you I have business cards? Yup, I do! I haven't used many of them, but when I was selling the purses for Israel (if you'd still like one, its not too late) I would stick one inside the purse. They look like this: Just a warning: I am no longer in the eye of the homework storm. I have six days left of classes left and then my exams begin. I have five papers to write and three exams. For one of my classes I only have to do a presentation. The only other class I have the teacher is having us over to his house for a BBQ which should be a nice change of pace in all the craziness of exams.

I leave for Israel in 19 days! Holy goodness! I didn't realize how close it was. I am really really REALLY excited. I have to find out what the policy is with knitting needles on the plane - especially one going into Tel Aviv. Does anyone know? I can't imagine being on such a long flight without my knitting!

Friday, April 21, 2006

I have a lot to say... so this might be a long one. Get ready.

I ended yesterday's blog with this quote from the Yarn Harlot's book At Knit's End: "You may be an only child. Perhaps you are the only man in a knitting guild or, like me, quite short and never in control of your laundry. It doesn't matter, for you are a knitter, and to belong completely, no matter how different you may appear to be... all you need to do is find more knitters." And this is why: She was in BOSTON TODAY! And worst of all... I missed it. She was 40 minutes away and I wasn't there. You have no idea how crushed I am about this. She is, after all, the reason I myself started blogging...and the reason I continue to knit (cause I want to become a Knitter - with a capital K). And my reason for missing it is... I am going to Israel (no not right now). I don't leave for another oh... 3 weeks and 2 days, but we had a group meeting tonight to go over specifics... a meeting that had been planned since December or January (I don't quite remember). I wanted so badly to be in one of those pictures that the harlot will post tomorrow on her blog when she recalls her visit to Porter Square Books. But I will not.

I will however, be seeing Rufus Wainwright in concert on June 14th at 8:00 pm at Carnegie Hall! I am really excited. I didn't think I'd get tickets, but I did! And that makes me happy.

Ya know what else makes me happy? My Girls.

This is a picture of Carolyn and Meg. Here they are pausing from reading short stories on the couch this evening for a picture for the blog. Are they not two of the most beautiful girls in the whole ENTIRE world!? I think so too. Speaking of beautiful girls... this is my roommate Erin (Hi Erin). Here she is posing in her hot outfit from the Salvation Army. She is sketchy a picture of Carolyn. These girls keep me going (these three aren't the only ones... there are others - you know who you are - who are not pictured in this post). They all mean the world to me. I have no idea where I would be without them.

And lastly, for all you knitters out there...

I recevied this from the wonderful Laura yesterday. It immediately went up on my wall as you can obviously tell from this picture. Everyone needs some sheep by their side when they wake up in the morning, right?

Thursday, April 20, 2006

It REALLY is a Darn Purse!

The yarn for Laurel's birthday purse came yesterday in the mail...It was awful. Well, I thought it was awful. Erin and Sarah liked it, but to me it was to autumny. It wasn't the spring yellow that the picture online displays (It's number 3225 - Masa). And so the project is delayed even more. But there is hope! While I was home for Easter, I went into my local yarn shop (as usual) and saw some yellow yarn that I like for the purse. Mom is going to go get it (or a different color that Laurel likes) tomorrow with Laurel. And the best part is, there is a sale at my wonderful yarn shop, A Stitch In Time for the next three days. I've never had so much trouble getting the yarn for any project before!

In other news, Rufus Wainwright is coming to NYC in June for a concert at Carnegie Hall!!!!
...
Now that you've had a moment to process that, how freakin' cool, huh?! He is performing two nights in a row and they are his last stop on his tour before going to Europe. I have to be at this concert. The box office is getting a phone call from me tomorrow morning!

Until further notice, meditate on this: "You may be an only child. Perhaps you are the only man in a knitting guild or, like me, quite short and never in control of your laundry. It doesn't matter, for you are a knitter, and to belong completely, no matter how different you may appear to be... all you need to do is find more knitters." ~The Yarn Harlot

Monday, April 17, 2006

He Is Risen!

He is Risen Indeed!
Happy Easter!
As I told you in an earlier blog, Easter this year was not going to be like the ones in the past... and I was right. The first thing that was different was going to the 8:10 service this morning at church instead of the normal 9:00 service. I am still suffering from getting up that early. Aunt Melanie and Rachel came over for brunch (normally we have a big dinner feast), but two cousins, two uncles, an aunt, and a grandma were missing from the normal gathering (the last time all of us were together was probably... 2002). Then it was off to visit Grandma. It was a pleasant visit...except for when Grandma told me I could use more blusher (she tells me this frequently). And I finally got to take a picture of her and the shawl!


Here she is practicing her praying skills.

And here is the shawl so you can see a little bit more of the details (sorry for the bland background, the only solid background was her bed which isn't the most fashionable in the rhab home). She loves it and has continued to wear it everywhere... telling EVERYONE that she will pray for them. Oh, the good samaratin.

Now I am just waiting on the yarn for that darn purse.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

That Darn Purse!

Today, we celebrated Laurel's birthday since I am not three hours away. We spent the afternoon at the mall and then went out to dinner to George's. Laurel enjoyed some wonderful Lobster ravioli. It was delicious (she let me have a bite!). After that we came home and had cake and opened presents. Here I can finally express my frustration. See, I wanted to make this for Laurel...

The plan was to knit this for her in the new Ultra Alpaca by Berroco in the spring yellow color Masa. I ordered the yarn in March (plenty of time for the yarn to arrive) , but it didn't. The seller informed me that it was back ordered so she had to wait before she could ship it to me. Unfortunately she told this to me three weeks after I ordered it. When I left for Easter break on Thursday, it had still not arrived. So I gave this to Laurel instead...

Yup, a paper version of the purse I plan to make for her. Isn't she gorgeous!? She asked me if the real thing will be bigger. I sure hope so. In the paper purse I gave her a pair of beautiful pink dangling earrings made by one of the girls in my apartment (I love you Polly!). Laurel loved the earrings and since half of her wardrobe is pink, I'm sure she'll be getting good use out of them.

Happy Easter everyone - especially you hot girls in Tavilla 201!

I don't wanna go to sleep!

Yes, It's 12:50... but I can't seem to want to go to sleep, besides the fact that I am tired and I probably have a long day ahead of me at the mall with Mom and Laurel.

Anyway, I wanted to let you guys know I finished the shawl. It came out beautiful. I forgot, however, to take a picture of it before we left to take it to Grandma and forgot my camera to take a picture of Grandma wearing it. So, basically, you'll get a picture, just not today... probably tomorrow. She loved it.

Oh, we looked at cars today for me. I came home from break with a speech all thought out in my head to try to convince my parents that I should have a car for the beginning of the fall semester. I wasn't even asking for one for the summer. When I got home, my mom informed me that we were going to look at cars on Friday afternoon. I didn't even have to bring it up. Dad is a little more hesitant to let me have a car for the fall semester, arguing that we could save on insurance for a few more months. True. But I've waited so long already... and I'm 21. Don't know how I'll pay for it all quite yet... but we'll get to that crack in the sidewalk when it comes.

Okay, I'm gonna go attempt to sleep. In all honesty, the reason I don't want to go to sleep is because my roommate isn't by my side. It's weird going to bed in a room all by myself.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Clam that Is Knitting

"The Clam that is Knitting" is not a phrase I had ever heard before either (don't worry, you aren't missing anything!). Let me explain...

My roommate is funny. So funny in fact, that she is in our college's improv comedy group - Sweaty-Toothed Madmen (yes, the ones mentioned in the Dead Poet's Society). Think Drew Carey's Who's Line is it Anyway? They put on a show last night for the campus and did wonderfully. They played one particular game that I am going to tell you about. It is the setup of a debate and five people are involved. While debating one topic the debators have to also figure out a phrase that was decided on before hand by people sherading it. One person is the mediator. Two people are the debators and the last two people are the sheraders. Confusing, I know!

The phrases that the debators had to figure out where: 1. They stole the powder. and 2. I am eating clam chowder. The challenging part is that the topic being debated has nothing to do with powder or chowder. Instead the topic, decided by the mediator (the wonderful CEMG), was "Which is better: Knitting or Purling?" (Now, we has knitters know that this is not a topic that needs to be debated, because we need knits and purls to work together to create masterpiece after masterpiece. The rest of the audience didn't know this.) Judd, who had to figure out I am eating clam chowder had figured out that the words eating and clam where in the sentence. He also had to keep the debate topic of knit v. purl going. And that is when the wonderful phrase appeared: The Clam that is Knitting. SPECTACULAR.

Makes no sense to you? Me either! But I thought it sounded real cool. So, there you have it... when knitting meets improv.

On a side note, the shawl is coming along quite nicely. In fact, I am nearly done - about another hour or so of work on it. Grandma will be receiving it tomorrow. I will post pictures of it then. I visited her today when I got home for Easter break. She was really happy to see me and is anxious to know what this surprise is that I keep mentioning to her.

Girls at Gordon: I miss you terribly.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LAUREL!!!
Today Laurel turns 19! I can't believe it. She has grown up to be such a beautiful (HOT, SEXY BABE) young lady. I am so proud of her and who she has grown up to be. I really love you Laurel. Unfortunately, I am three hours away at school with no way to see my sister on her big day. I really wish I could be there to have hamburgers and hotdogs and potatoe salad for her birthday dinner - it sounds so yummy to me! I am sending you these monkeys instead to celebrate with you.

I will be home in less than 48 hours though! My parents were really thinking ahead when they decided to have Laurel right around the time of Easter (my birthday conviently falls just after Labor Day). They knew that I'd be able to come home for Easter from college to celebrate my sister's birthday - which is excactly what I'll be doing this coming weekend. And boy, does Laurel have quite the gift to look forward to... atleast I hope so.

Easter is going to be a little different this year. Grandma, having had her knee surgery, is currently in rehab. Normally everyone comes over to our house (we live with Grandma) and we celebrate, but Grandma won't be able to be at home... and I don't think the rehab center would appreciate 10 of us squeezing into her room to have our Easter dinner together. So it's going to be a laidback Easter weekend - a nice long weekend home with the family.

Oh, Grandma's shawl is about half way done. I only have 4 more repeats left to do with the pattern. The blue is beautiful and I think it will look great on her. If any of you reading this (FAMILY!), don't show Grandma this part of the entry. I want it to be a surprise. It's hard to see the detail in this picture, and since my circular needles aren't as long as the shawl will be it is difficult to see the size of the shawl, but I think it's going to look great. I hope she loves it as much as I've loved making it. Oh, she's going really good for those of you who don't get a daily update like me. The other day she went to Rehab Camp the other day. I thought this was a silly name and even sillier after Grandma described it to me. She said all those "old people" kept falling asleep and "we" had to keep waking them up. First, grandma is 81 years old. Second, was she helping the instructor wake up these "old people"? I imagine Grandma viewing herself as her hip 20 year old self knowing she was better than these "old people" who just can't seem to stay awake.

Don't worry Grandma! I'll be home soon. By the way, how's Uncle Jeff treatin' ya?

Laurel, I love you!

Monday, April 10, 2006

P & P

There are two foods that I cannot live without:
1. Butter popcorn
2. Diet Pepsi
I crave them constantly. Some of you may think I'm weird, but these two items are the two greatest comfort foods in the world. Argue if you must.

Have you ever had a really good bag of popcorn, when it is nice and hot, fresh out of the microwave? It is heaven. I love the feeling when you put a popped kernal in your mouth and it sorta just melts. I love the saltiness that hits your tounge even before the popcorn is all the way in your mouth. I could easily eat a whole bag by myself. Fortunately they - they meaning all popcorn manufacturers - have been making mini-bags of popcorn. This way I can eat a whole bag of popcorn and not feel bad that I ate it all by MYSELF! Oh the wonders of this world.

Diet Pepsi. Yum. I don't know why, but diet pepsi tastes so much different (ie. better) than diet coke. While I prefer diet pepsi, I am not one of those people who will drink only diet pepsi. In fact, I am sitting here at my computer with a bottle of diet coke at my side. Massachusetts is a diet coke state. Have you ever noticed this before? Restaurants that are in certain states or regions will all serve coca-cola products or Pepsi-cola products. Back home, in Connecticut, I enjoy the pleasures of being surrounded by Pepsi-Cola lovers. Does anyone know why this is? I've wonder about this, perhaps more than I should have (although I have never lost any sleep over it).

Pepsi and Popcorn... a match made in heaven.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Home Sweet Home

I miss home.

I love my girls here on campus, but sometimes there are those days (or weeks) that you just want to be in the comfort of your own home. There are those times when you just want to be in the most comfortable of all comfort zones. I've lived with my family all my life - like most people. They know me well. I know them well. We know what not to say to them because we know that it will offend them. We know when they need comfort and when they just need some time along. We are content with each other.



I miss you family. Five days until I am home with them.

P.S. Grandma is doing good for those of you who were wondering.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Three-Legged Race

My grandma had her third knee replacement this morning. It went well - or atleast it seems that it went well. See, the reason it is three knee replacements is becaues the first time she got one done the doctor didn't do the best job and it had to be redone.(No she does not have three legs, much to our disappointment!) I talked to her on Sunday. She was in a lot of pain. I haven't talked to her since her surgery, but Mom says she is doing much better than Sunday, which is a relief.

See, we need Grandma. Not only is Grandma the one that links our family together, but she is also our form of entertainment at all family gatherings (ex. birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, etc.). There are usually twelve of us at the dinner table. Grandma sits at the head of the table. The grandkids sit near the other end of the table, with my Dad at the foot of the table. Grandma likes to think that whatever we are talking about has to do with her. And so when she hears us mumbling and giggling at our end of the table she immediately wants to know what we are talking about. This always gets us laughing because it usually is something that Grandma wouldn't want to hear about.

That's the other thing about Grandma. She has a tendency to say things that hidden sexual/perverted meanings without realizing it. I can't think of an example off the top of my head, but it has caused some people to laugh so hard that tears are streaming out of their eyes and the idea of breathing normally again is nearly impossible (you know what kinda of laughter I'm talking about).

Oh, so Grandma is an expert at this knee replacement thing. In a few days she will be in a rehab center to do therapy and get her up and "running" asap. She has this down to an art. Being in rehab will also mean that she will get many more visitors - something I am not entirely sure she is excited about. It's not that Grandma is anti-social, 'cause she isn't. It has more to do with the people who visit her, specifically my Uncle Jeff. He is her son-in-law and quite the character. He is a musician with a rather high level of energy. Last time she was in rehab, he visited her nearly every single day as the rehab center was close to his place of work. She quickly grew tired of this. She even went so far as to pretend to be asleep while he was visiting so that he would get the hint and leave. Haha. That little ol' lady is full of all sorts of tricks!

I plan on knitting her a prayer shawl as soon as I can find myself a ride to A.C. Moore. I plan to knit it while she is in recovery so I am praying daily for her. It's going to be a lot of fun to knit. I'm rather excited, if you can't tell.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Eye of the Homework Storm

This have been so crazy. These 18 credits are killing me. I'd like to think the worst is over, but I think I'm just in the eye of the storm. Today I had two annotated bibiliographies due (which is quite possibly worse than hell) and a presentation. I have a two week "slow" time starting now and then the craziness picks up again with two presentations, intense map homework for Israel preparation, and three huge papers. So, I'm trying to enjoy it while it lasts with as much knitting time as possible and expanding my mind intellectually by choice. Tonight I went to a debate which discussed if artifical contraception is acceptable from the standpoint of Christian sexual ethics. On Thursday I am going to a discussion titled "The Bible: An Honest Criticism" which is to address difficult questions regarding the Bible. I will admit these are not necessarily things the average 21 year old is thinking about, but they interest me and I want to learn all I can.

Oh, knitting lesson of the week: never let a "friend" knit one of your projects just cause she's bored. Quickly hand her yarn and needles so she can cast on her own project, even if this means taking from your own stash. It may be the simplest kind of knitting - don't risk it! This friend, whom we shall call Juan - for their sake - was sitting on my bed pretending to knit the purse I am making for Laurel. I trust Juan, so I gave him permission to knit a few rows. Bad mistake - I should have just let him keep pretending. Juan turned my knitting around, pulled the yarn to the other side and started knitting. About 2-3 rows later Juan realized it didn't look like the rest of the purse. He set it down, hoping I wouldn't be there when I discovered it. He was. He purled it! I had to frog back all this knitting. I discovered the hard way that it was an easy mistake for Juan to make, but it was made. Juan will bring his own knitting from now on. I post this event on my blog not to ridicule Juan, but rather to warn other knitters of this catastrophe (Juan, I still love you!).

Oh! I've recently discovered a new podcaster that is based in Boston. It's one of the first, if not the first, podcast for knitters by a man. It's called It's a Purl, Man. This podcast is especially amazing because I get to hear about all the coolest yarn shops and knitting events in the Boston area, all right around the corner from where I am. How lucky am I?!

Hopefully in these next few weeks - in the eye of the storm - I will be able to update my blog more often. I apologize to those of you - if any of you exisit - who check my blog daily to see if I've updated, just like I obsessivley check other blogs and then get annoyed when they haven't posted in the last 3 hours. I mean, I don't do that - my roommate does. Right?