Sunday, July 29, 2007

More baby caps

I went shopping this morning and picked up more yarn. I think I now have almost every colour of fruit or vegetable available. I also picked up different greens so I could try to make a striped melon. I will have to play with that. I also made a raspberry cap this afternoon and it is cute. I tried to make it a little knobbly like a raspberry is but I don't think I made it knobbly enough. I will I think I need to work on matching mittens for some of these caps and start posting them for sale. I will have to post a pic here too.

I also make the unfortunate mistake of going to REI. I was looking for a spray skirt for an upcoming trip that I will need it on. Unfortunately they didn't have my kayak size but they did have clearance racks of clothing and I found 6$ shirts, and some really nice skorts and zip apart pants, which I need a new pair of. I spent more than I meant to and don't have a spray skirt to show for it. Oh well. I should know better than to go to REI. Too much nice stuff, not enough money.


Saturday, July 28, 2007

Kayaking BBQ

Our kayaking meetup group under went a change in organizer, for the better. The old organizer seemed to lose interest and wasn't really posting anything. When the group was between organizers, one girl tried to pull the group together and suggested a BBQ event. The new organizer left it on the calendar and today was the day. The BBQ was in Leesylvania in Virginia and was very nice. There was way too much food, of course. But the kayaking was great and the BBQ was fun. I brought some homemade root beer and potato salad. I started the root beer and salad Thursday night, went out for TGIF then finished mixing the salad Friday night. Saturday I threw everything into the cool and off I went.

We chose to paddle up into the salt marsh area as there would be less power boats and no wake to worry about. The tide was going out so we eventually ran out of depth, but the trail we took was great. The salt marsh at first was clogged with seaweeds that got caught up in our paddles. A little after that the seaweed cleared up but then the sides of the waterway was choked up with water hyacinth. After that cleared it was just a muddy bank with grasses and trees. I wish we could have gone further up as it was so quiet and peaceful. I am hoping another events get planned out there when there is a high tide. I am curious how far the waterway goes. One guy with a GPS claimed it went right out to the highway. We had about half the group as new or novice paddlers. I felt bad for one group ibn a tandem as they kept paddling against each other and fighting to keep the kayak on course. I didn't know whether I should laugh or cry when I say how they were struggling. Tandem kayaks are either a good way to murder someone or to find out how strong your relationship is.

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Food allergies suck!

We had a vendor fair yesterday and sandwiches were offered as part of the freebies. So down we went to talk to people we already knew just so we could get free food and free squeeze toys. I picked up a soccer ball, some post it notes and a sandwich with cheese. Of course I wasn't thinking about my inability to digest lactose until after I had eaten the sandwich. Sure enough, I was sick as a dog later in the day. I hate that I have to be much more careful about what I am eating. It is one thing to watch my waist line but another to have to completely avoid an entire food group. I am still feeling a little queasy from yesterday's encounter with cheese. I have picked up some Lactaid so I can at least eat out on occasion and not have to worry about getting sick. I actually took some of Lactaid with supper and I have my fingers crossed that I will feel fine tonight and tomorrow morning.

It is very hot and humid today. At work I get so cold sometimes that I look forward to getting outside. But once I am outside and I get hot and sweaty, I can't wait to get into the AC. It normally isn't too bad but I went to get some groceries for the bBQ this Saturday, I boiled up some spuds for a potato salad, made a quick batch of root beer (although I am not sure it will be ready for Saturday, I am hoping it will at least turn out), and I did some laundry. I am still waiting for the workers to finish putting new windows in the building. They said it would be a week long process and I guess I was slated for the last day. Good thing I didn't take all the blinds down, especially in the bathroom and bedroom. I would have been really upset to have to put them up every day just for some privacy. Oh well, I am hoping tomorrow is the day.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Harry Potter

I received a copy of Harry Potter to read from a friend. And, no I am not going to give any spoilers. My friend picked up the book Saturday and spent the whole weekend reading it. I received it Tuesday and finished it Wednesday night. It wasn't bad but the story seemed to drag at points. It was like the author forgot to fill in background information and was now just catching up on it. Slogging through that and trying to determine what was worth reading was rather boring in a way. While I mostly enjoyed the story, I think I would rather have heard the fillet and just been done with it. I know it is a kids book and I tried to disregard the fluff, which did make for a better read. I am not sure I cared for the ending, it seemed a little too tidy but in the end it is over.

I went to the NaNo writing group meeting tonight. We have been trying to find a good location in the Dupont Circle area which is mostly convenient for everyone, but many places don't have plugs or they have limited seating. I am not sure what will happen but each time we meet it is at a different location. I hope we find something and settle soon. I mostly read just so I could finish HP but I want to get back on the writing bandwagon.

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Paddling Basics

There was a paddling basics offered on the meetup that I decided to participate in. Although I know how to move my kayak forward, I thought it would be a good time to learn a little more about paddling and how to better control my kayak in the water. I think I learned some stuff but I think the real test will be to see how much I retain when I get out on the water next. I had a bit of a hard time telling the difference between the normal stroke and the sweep stroke, part of that was due to my paddle being different from the teachers. After switching paddles briefly, I think I have it figured out now.

We went down to old town Alexandria after the paddling to get some food and to go down to the docks to see if the large 3 masted square rigger was anchored there. Alas it was not, but at least we got to watch it passing through the raised bridge, pretty cool. We did stand on the docks and yak for a while. So when I got back and showered I discovered where I had missed putting sunscreen. I was so good about it too, but apparently I missed a nice big section of my back that is normally covered by my life jacket. So normally I don't notice the lack of sunscreen, but this time, I noticed it very acutely. That's going to hurt for a while. Next time I will remember to goop that area up.


Saturday, July 21, 2007

Sunset paddling

One of the kayaking events planned was a sunset paddling. The weather was nice and cool but the wind was a little strong. Nothing we couldn't handle. Also, the sun didn't set while we were on the water but no biggie, it was still nice to get out. It was a relaxing paddling. The group was slow and tended to stop often and yak. A couple of us went out for pizza after the paddling. I had heard about Paradiso Pizza and it was great. I will have to go again, although next time with some lactaid. Apparently I am lactose intolerant. After avoiding lactose the entire week and feeling fine, the cheese on the pizza pushed me over the edge.

The first part of my day on the other hand had been very hectic. I woke up late then I tried making egg salad sandwich mix with some old eggs. I started boiled them up when I noticed that my garbage can had somehow become infected with blowflies or something, mostly in the larval stage. Must be the hot weather and something I tossed in there last week. So I ended up washing and bleaching the can to get rid of them. Then I had to run out the door, without my egg salad sandwich in order to make it to the theater in time for the movie. I ended up biking there to get there faster. I just made it. When the movie got out I had to race up the hill (which didn't happen) to get back in time for the sunset paddling. Needless to say I was tired and I know I will be sore tomorrow from the biking. I ended up walking it part of the way up the hill because I had no energy or breath left.

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Live Free or Die Hard

This movie was just as I expected it to be, another Die Hard movie cut from the same mold. The mold must work otherwise people would stop watching the movies. But it is making the movie and plot start to feel a little old. Bad guys trying to take over the old/steal the worlds money and Bruce Willis come flying in to the rescue destroying evertyhing and everyone in his path. Then the bad guys kidnap his daughter so he ups the rampage to bisearker mode and wins the day. The difference in this movie from the other Die Hard movies in the franchise is the attempt to use computers as part of the plot line. There was plenty of snickering in the movie theater at many points in the movie. I think there were people who actually worked in the DC anti-hacker office as they were making fun of the decor.

In the end, this was a good watch that required very little intellectual input to follow. Since Willis was the computer n00b, everything was explained in a dumbed down way so everyone could follow the plot. This over explaining did have a draw back in that I felt it was over done and over dramatisied for a bigger effect that would really occur. The action was over the top and of course the hero survived the day. Who doesn't like a good, happy ending when avoiding the summer-time heat.


TGIF, Yay!

A few people from work gathered together last night after work. I normally host Jounal Pub with my home brew but after that a few of us stayed together and went downtown to enjoy sake and sushi. I thought that was going to be it, but we actually continued on to Brickskeller's for specialty beers. It was quite a night. I don't think I got home until quite late. Thankfully I got a lift and didn't have to play bus roulette.

Brickskeller's is a great place. They have a beer list that reads like a book of fine print. They have a huge selection of beers, ciders and meads from around the world. It is a good place to try out a style as chances are they have several variations on that style. I tried a Cherry Lambic. It was okay, a little pricey, but I didn't realize how much past illness would affect my taste buds. It reminded me a little of cough syrup at first. The sourness of the Lambic style helped prevent a full blown cough syrup memory from emerging but that first swallow was interesting. I moved onto a Woodchuck Cider from England. Quite good, a little dry but very tasty.

This week has passed very slowly. I don't remember anything standing out this week. I go to work, I putz around then I go home and watch Stargate. I have a small pile of baby caps to show that I have done something. At least I have some kayaking to do this weekend and I think I will try to catch the Bruce Willis movie.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Lactose experiment

I was at the doctor's office a few weeks ago complaining about a few minor symptoms. She claimed it was lactose intolerance, but I wanted a gut flora check, I thought it was Giardhia. Well after spending most of the last week away from milk and milk products, I have been doing fine, and the bug tests came back negative. So I guess I am lactose intolerant. The doctor said that sometimes something will cause temporary intolerance and it might go away on its own and to try milk again in a few months. I am hoping that is the case, because I really miss milk. I think Iwill end up going back to rice and stirfries when the weather starts cooling off again. It is just a little too hot to be spending time to cook up a pile of food. It is easier to whip up a sandwich and grab a handful of nuts and chips right now. No cook food is great and fast.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Stargate addiction

So there I sat in front of the computer most of the weekend watching more episodes of Stargate. I really don't have a problem doing this but I keep feeling like I could be doing something more productive. I am completely addicted again and watching them back to back has been great. I also have a tendancy to do this with books. I will start reading then hours later I might put it down but this goes on for days until I finish the book. The perk to having all the episodes in one place is that there are no more 'to be continued' shows as I have the next episode. But there I sat doing nothing. So I picked up my knitting needles again and I have started making more fruit caps. I am also thinking of getting an Etsy site to sell things on and will likely open it up when I hit a critical mass of hats and other cute sellable items. I can pretty much whip out a small hat in two or three shows, which is one sitting for me. I will have to be careful to not kill my wrists as it has been a while since I last knit. I have also been doing a lot of typing and computer work at work and don't need to end up with carpal tunnel or tendonitis right now. I might make matching mittens if I feel up to it. I think I should also look into making tags to tag my products if I do end up selling them.


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Weekend blues

Weekends are just not the same with my boyfriend gone. I really don't remember doing anything other than sitting in front of the TV but they seemed more fun. This weekend was not exactly boring but it just wasn't the same without him. I went to see Harry Potter Saturday night and I went kayaking sunday morning. Unfortunately I really didn't do much else. I am quickly flying through the Stargate seasons and I am beginning season 5.

The weather here in DC has been quite hot but very humid. I don't really have AC in my unit. I have a couple of window units but by it isn't worth running them during the day and by the time I get home, the night is cooling off and it isn't worth running them then either. So I have mostly been using a fan which has been doing quite well. Still, I really have little motivation to do much in this heat. I have been trying to clean up my apartment and declutter it. I still have boxes from my recent move that I still haven't unpacked. I want to get rid of stuff but I am torn over what to toss so it is a slow process. I did get rid of some things and foresee getting rid of more, it is just a matter of time and energy.

The kayaking this morning was quite nice. A group of us went down to an estuary as paddled around. There was a high tide and the bay was open enough that there were waves. I had a bit of a hard time powering through the waves as my kayak is not exactly sleek. Everytime I am out, I keep thinking about how much I want a better kayak, but once I am off the water, I wonder how much I really NEED a better kayak. I really only get out occasionally but I have been getting out very consistantly over the past two years now. I would have to save up quite a chunk of money and I need to decide if it is worth it. I guess I am still not sure how serious of a paddler I am. I will see how this year goes.

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Journal Pub and Writing

Yesterday after work, I decided to finally go to the weekly writing get together as I have been missing them in favour of spending time with my boyfriend. The group decided to move locations as the last location was having AC issues and we just had the heat break last night. We are now in Dupont Circle which works great for me as I can take the free shuttle in then either a bus home or the free shuttle back then walk. The location is okay but they have interesting music, plugs for the laptop users (which I think we all are), and free wifi. Wifi is great for research but is sometimes a little bit too much in the temptation department. I managed to stay the course and continue building my outline from my rough draft that I wrote during NaNoWriMo. I am hoping to get that done next week then get back to planning and writing more. I also think I will start minor editing of the first chapter and post that on my other blog. Although, now that I have been looking at this story again, I find I have lost interest in it and might start another that has been kicking around in the back of my head. It would be nice to finish this one first just so I have that accomplishment under my belt before trying to take on another story.

Today I hosted a Journal Pub. First of the summer, it has actually been a while since the last one. Turn out was very low as usual. People asked for Thursdays and everyone who asked for it didn't bother to show up. I think I will try Friday next week and see how that goes. One of the kegs emptied so I can start another batch of beer. I think I will try to make another stout using a different recipe with no molasses. I also have the chocolate extract so I can make up a few bottles of chocolate stout. I put a different regulator on my CO2 tank. It works better than the last one which was slowly breaking. I also had a leak in the lines somewhere but I suspect it was the regulator. I am still a little afraid to leave the CO2 on as I don't want to needlessly empty the tank. On the other hand there is no reason to leave it on so I don't.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Car run in

I decided to see what it would feel like to get hit by a car today. Actually, the guy wasn't paying attention, didn't check his blind spot and almost bowled me over. Good thing I noticed him coming at me. I ended up on the hood of his car and am fine but boy was I pissed. I ended up slamming my hand into the hood of his car. I hope I dented it because my hand hurt after that. it was a good thing I did see him as he could have knocked me over the other way and done a lot more damage. I am otherwise fine and will look more carefully when I cross. The problem was, he was stopped. It was safe to cross, but since I was moving up a one way, he didn't bother to check for cars, or apparently walkers, in the other direction.

Speaking of cars, I have to bring my car in to get the AC fixed. I guess it went sometime last year and since I rarely use it, I never noticed. From what I understand, it is a simple matter of getting it charged, but I have to find the time to make an appointment, then get the car in. I also have to find out if I have to take the kayak off the roof or if they will fix with the 'yak on the roof. More trouble to take it off just to have to put it back on for paddling this weekend. I might delay until next week.


Sunday, July 08, 2007

Happy Canada Day

Well, better late than never. Canada Day is July 1st and I was going to go to O'Sullivans pub for a Canadian ExPat celebration but I just couldn't motivate myself to get up and go. I ended up watching Stargate which I have all 10 seasons on my hard drive right now courtesy of my brother. But there was a BBQ earlier today that I did make it to. There was way too much food but there was also Nanaimo Bars, buttertarts and maple pie, Canadian delicacies. I also brought some Canadian Ketchup chips that I had laying around, it was my last bag but worth it. I brought a keg with me too. I think it is time to get the TGIF's back up and running. It was a small group and there really were not that many Canadians there but it was fun. I knew a few of the people from last year when I went to the National Novel Writing Month 'thank goodness its over' party. I also know some from the Wednesday writing meetings that I haven't been to much lately but will be starting back up on.

I went kayaking this morning too. The weather has been very nice lately but very hot. The sun was out in full force yesterday and I had to slather on lots of sunblock. I make the mistake of wearing the neoprene wetsuit. I was more wet from sweat than I would have been if I had forgone the wetsuit. Normally it helps keep me dry from paddle drips, but not this time.
Oh well, next time I will just go in a bathing suit or just shorts and a top.

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Saturday, July 07, 2007

Shopping therapy

I haven't been out shopping in quite a while. Mostly because I am trying to save money. The cost of living down in DC is a little higher than it was in the Boston area. In the end, it was time to get some food as there was nothing in the house. I also went looking for a zipper to fix a skirt I had bought and decided spur of the moment to get a haircut. On top of that, I had to go into work today to finish up an experiment that had been delayed due to slow bacterial growth. It took me awhile but I finally got the correct colour and length zipper, and I picked up some groceries. The old addage of not food shopping on an empty stomach came back to haunt me. I bought a bit more lettice than I think I can eat. Guess I will be doing salads for awhile.


Friday, July 06, 2007

A Mighty Heart

The movie of the movie meetup this week was A Mighty Heart. I really didn't want to watch this movie because I wasn't interested in the subject matter, I didn't think it was a good role for Angelina Jolie and I didn't know the story it was based on. But, I wanted some company so I went to dinner with the group then caught the movie. I was disappointed in the movie mostly because the story meant nothing to me and I just couldn't get into it. It was a well done movie and Jolie was good but I just couldn't see her in the role of the wife. I would have been much happier watching Transformers or Die Hard as that seemed to be what my mood was up for, neither of which were playing at that particular theater. Another reason that contributed to my having to watch the chosen movie. It turned into a long night, the movie started quite late and it took me forever to bus home. I had also gone to a BBQ here on campus right after work then went out for supper with the meetup. I would have driven but the kayak was on the roof and I was afraid I would get any street parking if I got back so late.

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

Long awaited update

A lot has happened in the last two months since my last post. I really should have kept writing but so much stuff conspired against me. For one, my cat got very sick and after trying to nurse him back to health over the weekend, I had to have him put to sleep. The vet didn't really know what was wrong and they tried treating the symptoms but he just didn't get better. I keep expecting him to walk into the bathroom or jump up onto my bed. It is hard being back at my place with no cat. It didn't help that the vet sent me the euthanasia bill a month later with a vaccination notice. At least they gave me a credit for the special food and medicine they charged me for when I brought them back.

I ended up visiting the doctor recently and she decided I must be lactose intolerant. I asked her to check for giardia, they ran every test but for giardia. So I have to go back to get another test run. Apparently giardia can cause lactose intolerance in some people. I am hoping it is a bug and not a food intolerance. I have had to avoid all dairy products for 2 weeks and am having a very hard time. But even the avoiding of dairy has not solved the problem. At least I don't have salmonella or cryptosporidium.

I have also been spending a lot more time with my boyfriend as he just recently went into the hospital for 5 days with a massive headache and extremely high blood pressure. The doctors are not sure what came first, the headache or the high blood pressure. So I ended up spending 5 days with him in the hospital worrying about him then another two weeks worrying about him at home. His contract in DC just ended giving him some time to relax and recup, but it also means he is going up to work another contract somewhere else before coming back down to DC in October. He only just left yesterday and I already miss him dearly.

So with no cat to care for and no boyfriend around, I should have plenty of time to get back to posting blog entries and to also get out and do more camping and kayaking. It is also time to put the mead on that has been patiently waiting on the back burner and time to get more beer going as the kegs are getting low. I have a pile of books that I bought for beer and mead making that I want to read and it might be time to clean out the wish list on Amazon again as I devoured the last few reading books I got. I didn't realize how much I missed reading until I picked up a few good books.

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