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My birthday Friday was good but unremarkable. At work, I started doing some actual useful things and joined a small weightlifting class in the gym that was actually pretty good. In the evening there was the monthly Chardon-knitting (which is where you drink wine and try not to screw up your knitting) at my LYS. I brought Prosecco and Tina, the LYSO, provided a delicious marionberry pie. The Prosecco itself has a story; because I had the gym class at 11 in building 2 and another meeting at 1 in building 3 and there’s a cafeteria in building 3, I brought my laptop and wallet with me to the gym so I could get lunch in between and didn’t have to go all the way back to my desk in building 4 (they’re all connected, but the distances are much farther than those sequential numbers make them sound). Unfortunately I forgot to take my wallet out of my gym bag and put it back in my purse afterward, a fact I realized just when I went to pay for the Prosecco. And the woman in front of me in line insisted on paying for it – she didn’t even ask first how much it was. Luckily I had a $14 bottle, not a $40 one! Of course she had no way of knowing it was my birthday and a milestone one at that, but I promptly told her so she’d feel even better about her kind gesture. And I guess I have a favor to pay forward now.

I didn’t have any presents to open – maybe that’s just a fact of adulthood, because it wasn’t that people didn’t care. A couple of people made donations in my name to organizations I care about (which has the major advantage of not having to find house room for more stuff!); my mom is trying to get something online but seems to be having technical difficulties; and Ted’s gift will be a wine-tasting trip to McMinnville next weekend.

Yesterday I did get a good gift – I got Ted back home! (He was only gone a week, but he had business travel on three out of the previous four weeks.) And yesterday afternoon I did something I hadn’t done in a while and got out my beading supplies. So here are a selection of recent objects, finished and otherwise. All photos taken with my iPhone, a few with a macro lens from Photojojo added.

Earrings – only the spotted ones are new; the rest are pairs I’d made a while ago, where I’d lost one and have just made a replacement. (A major advantage to making your own jewelry!)

I made this treasure necklace a long time ago, but it had broken – I restrung it and added a few new items:

Then there’s the knitting. First, socks: there are the self-patterning socks, of which I knit most of the first one while helping out at the LYS during the recent yarn crawl and am still early on the second one; plus the purple two-at-a-time pair I started months ago, that keep getting pushed aside for other projects:

There’s also the Rogue sweater, which has the body and most of one sleeve done; a linen-stitch Moebius cowl made from various leftover sock yarn; and a hat I finished back in January. Not shown are two pink pussy hats I made for friends and a baby hat for a pregnant former coworker.

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

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We got back from the Galapagos just a week ago and I’m at the tail end of catching up: I’ve unpacked and done all my laundry; restocked the fridge and cupboards; caught up on email and news: set up a Google Drive and given access to all the other people on our trip so we can share photos; uploaded some of our own photos for them (everyone was eager to see Ted’s photos, because he brought a long telephoto lens).

I’ve also just about caught up on sleep; I never did get to sleep a night through during the trip. We were on the lower deck, toward the bow of a 12-passenger ship with no high-tech stabilizers. I can sleep through a ship’s rocking, but not through the bow whapping down after each wave, or through the anchor chain being lowered from right overhead. Then in Quito, our hotel room was noisy, then we had a red-eye flight that was a couple hours late so we left at 1:40 AM, one day off, and then back to work.

This weekend, I finished both the shawl I was knitting during the trip and the socks I’d left at home (after I frogged and reknitted the leg of the first sock four times before we left).

So now I just need to blog the trip – having selected our best photos already, for sharing, should help with that.

And then it’s time to be thinking about where we’d want to go for our next big trip.

Here, have a couple photos.
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Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

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image
Yay, I have a tea container! I was storing it in the plastic bags it comes in (I can buy loose tea in bulk at the local supermarket) and they aren’t all that sturdy so I finally broke down and bought a canister. I really love that red TeaVana mug; the infuser that fits into it makes brewing loose tea more convenient (it has its own little lid to sit on and it doesn’t leak leaves into the tea cup, two very minor annoyance factors that can otherwise make tea bags less trouble to use). Nore importantly if you click the lid shut, it doesn’t leak. Like ever – you can throw it up and catch it or turn it over and there will be zero tea escaping. And somehow even though it can keep tea hot for hours (literally, 2-3 hours if closed) it cools it at first so I almost never burn my mouth.

In the background of the picture is my little kettle, which is so adorable that the office manager bought two just like it for general use. Personally I bought it because T-fal usually seems to be reliable and my previous low-end-brand kettle stopped working after a few months, but apparently for her looks are more important. So far, it’s been managing to succeed in both form and function.

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

azaleas!

Mar. 6th, 2015 09:39 am
dichroic: (oar asterisk)

It’s not even my birthday (that’s next week) so I don’t think this is supposed to be happening yet – but apparently nobody told them:
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Tomorrow is the Rose City Yarn Crawl. My local yarn shop organized a group going in a limo, starting on the far side of town, so there will be lots of riding. (I mean, we’ll meetout here but our first stop is way over in Gresham.) I’ve got knitting to take; I cast on a cowl just for this, on the theory that I want it for skiing next week and my other current projects aren’t ideal for car knitting. I’m just having trouble to decide what to wear, since there’s a 30-degree F difference between tomorrow’s forecasted highs and lows, and what to take for lunch. I think I’ve settled on a sleeveless gray top and navy cords as a base, then layered over that a shawl (probably this one or this one, a denim jacket and possibly another jacket if it feels cold when I leave. For lunch, I might take summer sausage, cheesesticks and gorp so I can just nibble.

Apparently we are going to be visiting 11 different shops. I feel like I might need to buy yarn at the first one and leave a clew behind me, like Jason in the Minotaur’s maze. If I don’t make it back, lock my credit cards and send help.

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

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This is hard! It’s made a bit easier because Ted has all our photos organized in iPhoto so that I can just sort for the ones with my face, but still it’s a tough decision. First, of course, there’s ruling out all the photos of myself that I hate. (I’m not very photogenic; any photo of me that you’ve seen is one I can tolerate, selected from among many more that I hated.) Then there’s ruling out the ones I actually like, but that are just not right for this purpose for one reason or another:

braids
A very old photo, hiking in Big Bend, Texas. Braids are the best for keeping your hair controlled on a backpacking trip, but they just don’t say “professional”!

godzilla
Paula as Godzilla, about to stomp the city. (It’s Madurodam, which contains all the significant buildings in the Netherlands, in miniature.)

vodka
Me at the Ice Hotel. That’s all vodka in the red sequined bottles!

snoozing
Me having a rest on the Oregon beach. Again, probably not the alert and businesslike impression I want to portray.

queen
Me crowned as Queen. (The crown is part of a planter in front of Copenhagen City Hall.)

cheesecake
Classic cheesecake pose.

everystroke
OK until you look close – it’s a rowing t-shirt, and the caption says “Every stroke counts!” No double entendres allowed on my business book cover.

tarokojewish
I was considering this one, taken at Taroko Gorge in Taiwan, until I looked closer; I’m wearing a Jewish star necklace (actually, a rowing necklace in which the star is made of tiny oars) and I think including a statement of my religion is more sharing than I want to do.

maternal
Me with my nephew, when he was two months old. I love the photo, but it’s also definitely *not* the image I’m going for here.

fuzzy
I’d actually planned to use this one, until I realized it’s too blurry – they asked for “high resolution”.

And here are the four I’m considering: respectively, at my brother’s wedding; on a tower in Lisbon, on the Oregon coast (same as the “cheesecake photo above, but zoomed in closer), and at a library in Helsinki. I put them up on FB and so far have at least one vote for each of the four.

ETA: I went with the fourth photo (in library, sunglasses on head). The issue I had with the first one (red dress) is that it’s formal but in a social way; somehow that feels less appropriate than the more casual shots.)

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Library

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

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… and here’s the outfit I’m going with.

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Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

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Lately, my hair has been behaving badly – it looked fine, but seemed to be damage because it was tangling badly and shedding quite a lot. A little of that was breakage, but more was entire strands coming out no matter how gently I detangled it. I don’t think the shedding is enough to worry about, but it’s never fun to see. Anyway, clearly there was damage, so it seemed like a good idea to get a lot of it cut off. I walked into the Salon armed with a collage of images; one of me with somewhat shorter hair, and a bunch of images from Twist Collective, an online knitting magazine known for good photography, which appears to have a strong partiality for models with cool hair. (The ones I picked even all had hair with similar color and testure to mine – actually, there were two or three people, shot at different times with slightly different haircuts.) I told the stylist, “I have a challenge for you: it may be a while until I can get a good haircut, so I need it cut shorter in a way that will grow out fine even if I get just minor trims, or none at all.

(Incidentally, the stylist said he’s been hearing of lots of his clients who seem to be losing hair, as well as himself. He thinks it may be due to something in the water. Is that even possible? Or do people tend to shed hair in autumn for some reason? That seems sort of counterproductive.)

Here’s what he came up with (actually, it’s somewhat like my favorite of the Twist photos, though he didn’t quite get those long front locks. They’d probably look like payyes on me, anyway). I think it will work.

(We will not discuss how many photos I had to take before coming up with two I was willing to post! As TranceJen (where is she now?) once said, the secret seems to be to take the photo from slightly above.)

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

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Introducing Elijah. As you can see, he found a few friends around the house:


His friends are rom our trip to Thailand a few years ago. Judging from the size of his ears, Elijah is also an Asian elephant, so perhaps there is a natural bond.

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

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Seen the other day while we were on our way out to dinner:

You’ve seen these before, left in the street to measure the speed of passing cars. But unless you live int he Netherlands, I’ll wager you’ve never seen one in a bike lane.

And the recent knitting:

Uncaged socks, so named because I tried to make Cat Bordhi’s Victorian Birdcage pattern twice, but realized both times that my yarn was too variegated to work for that pattern. So these are her Feather and Foliage socks, converted to toe-up construction:

Elijah the elephant – head done, working on the body. I think it’s already sort of cute, but maybe that’s only because I know what the finished version will look like. Ted’s term was “disturbing”.

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

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