Friday, February 29, 2008
I am gunning for the term Leaple. It's a French surname, but is not an English word. It is a contraction of Leap and People-our birthdays make us special, but we are just people. Leaple works for me! Here's to getting it in Wikipedia.
I read in my local paper that people born on February 29th are known as Leaplings. I've been around for 12 birthdays and never heard that term until yesterday. Sputter grumble.... Leapling!!! Why not Leapette, or Leaper, or Leapster, or a niner? I think someone's making crap up and putting it in Wikipedia. I have to think about this a little, then I am going to make something up...it will be good, I promise. Leapling, my ass. That's LAME.
I am pretty excited that Google managed to make a cute little icon for MY birthday. You'll have to excuse me, I don't get real birthdays all that often, and I relish them. Birthday absence is difficult in the formative years, that is-any year before your 30th. I have a lot of pent-up glee!
I also found out about the Leap Year Capital of the World. I am going for my next birthday. That's not lame at all.
There was a nummy little bit of yarny goodness, courtesy of the mailman. TWO matching hanks of sea silk, which is enough to make a BIG DEAL garment. Yummo!!!!
One really annoying thing about my birthday is that you only get a birthday horoscope once every four years. So let's stock up-
Responsibilities weigh on you. Much might be going on behind the scenes or in your mind. Start clearing out some of these thoughts, and you will have reason to smile. Listen to your inner voice about a boss, parent or older individual. Tonight: Could be late.
and then there is-
Born February 29 Your leadership skills are elevated, and you are likely to engage in teamwork and group projects with success. Your charm is strong, and others warm up to your ideas readily. However, there are times when you might come on too strong, attempting to push your agenda on others--something that can only cause problems. You can also be more temperamental, and sparks can fly in your love life! You are goal-oriented and capable of accomplishing pretty much anything you desire. You simply have to be patient and not expect too much at once. more
and then the Aussies say-
Friday 29th February Birthdays – this year sees you with plenty of desire but you may not quite have what you need for the carry through. Make sure your plans are based in reality if you want success.
Born on This Day– 1976 Jeff "Ja Rule" Atkins, 1972 Antonio Sabato, Jr., 1960 Tony Robbins, 1956 Jonathan Coleman, 1936 Jack Lousma, 1916 Dinah Shore, 1904 Jimmy Dorsey, 1896 William Wellman, 1860 Herman Hollerith
Babies born today will be dynamic little people, who will enjoy starting new projects. They may need help with carrying them out to the end though. There can be clashes with those in authority, beginning with parents and teachers. Once they learn to take responsibility they can move mountains
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
That's pretty straight up, isn't it? There's a new book of six word bios out. That's a challenge. What would I say?
Monday, February 25, 2008
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Friday, February 22, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Sunday, February 17, 2008
I bought the tickets for Valentines. We'd heard there were a lot of wineries in the Hill Country (north of San Antonio, west of Austin, south of Waco) but we've never been. Mind you, we've been in the state for 13 years, and the oldest winery we visited was 20 years old. As we found out, it wasn't necessary to have a tasting ticket for the wineries, but toting the ticket got us a little "extra" at every stop. If we hadn't bought the tickets, we probably wouldn't have gone, so I think that was money well spent. We went to the Fredricksburg Winery (downtown Fredricksburg), Grape Creek Vinyards and Torre de Pietro (right next to each other on Hwy 90) and Sister Creek Vinyards in Sisterdale.
I am not a HUGE fan of reds. I'm not wild about the tannic taste. I found it VERY helpful to taste and smell back-to-back-to-back. It helped me winnow out what I liked and what I didn't. (I had a NASTY Pinot Noir-tasted like vinegar to me!) My pick? Grape Creek and Torre de Pietro are right next to each other, and Grape Creek's wines were very enjoyable. Torre de Pietro kind of set me back on my heels, pricewise. They were pretty proud of their Petit Shiraz. It was 100.00 a bottle. I am sure I am not qualified to drive THAT snob bus. At any rate, if I was only going to make one stop, it would be Grape Creek. We picked up a port, and a sweet white that I thought would be a perfect little "prezzie" wine to have on hand. I just looked at wine awards, and hey, that little 12.50 bottle won a Silver medal in recent competition. I can be the 12.50 snob, ok?
We stopped at Sisterdale because it was kind of in the homeward direction, and they specialize in reds, which DH thinks are wunnerful. DH loved their self-tour (it's in an old cotton gin), and he loved their flavors. (It also helped that there was a large farm of rusting Chevies right next door.) He pointed out the big plastic cork tapped into the side of each barrel. "They call that a bunghole," he announced gleefully and not too quietly. See what I mean about licenses to drive the wine snob bus??
I finished a "punkinhead" hat this weekend. I first made this Ann Norling hat about 5 years ago, and decided I needed a few for baby presents. I am shocked at how easy it was to do this hat-much easier than it was 5 years ago!! So it's done. I need to do several more, because there are a lot of women expecting. EVERYONE loves the pumpkins.
If I hand knit a hat, I can just throw it in a wine bag, right? I am so NOT kidding about that!
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Yesterday, they spotted each other. I got worried, because I didn't know if they would fight each other for territory. An anole fighting another anole is a funny thing-the males puff up and show little pink "gills". Often times, the winner will end up with the loser's head in his mouth. The loser's legs flail, and his body writhes. I never stick around to see what happens next.
These two decided to make formal introduction yesterday. I ran to get the camera.
Would it be lizard carnage? Would I have to go outside and fix the screen? Would one of them stuff the other's head in his mouth? See how the light changes in the background? There was a long, deliberate sizing up. They considered slowly, and moved very quickly. Heads tilted. And then it happened!!! The anole turned its back on the other lizard and.................
I think she was flirting with him. Who'da thunk? Happy Valentines Day!
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Friday, February 08, 2008
Announcing a contest!!! Where SK lives, the temperature has plummeted, and it’s hard to get into town or travel about. Talk about February freeze!!! That’s not a fun way to spend your birthday!! In honor of SK’s birthday next week, Feathersong and I are hosting a Birthday Haiku contest. As you know, a haiku is a form of Japanese poetry. It has a very specific construction. The first line has 5 syllables, the second 7, and the last line has 5 syllables. The message has to be succinct.
So here are the prize categories-
1) a haiku TO Shui Kuen 2) a haiku ABOUT Shui Kuen
There will be one prize for each category.
There will also be a speed demon prize for the FIRST haiku entry. Already won by Trish@mymerinomantra (see the right sidebar)
To enter: Post your birthday Haiku here or on Ravelry at the Friends of SK group. One entry per person. Contest deadline is 5 p.m. (1700L) Central Standard Time (US) on 14 Feb. Feathersong and I will judge that evening. Winners will be announced on 15 Feb, and prizes will be mailed early the following week. Your entry will be disqualified if it does not conform to haiku construction guidelines.
Please label it “to” or “about”.
Feathersong and I can participate, but not enter.
Need inspiration? Listen to SK’s radio interview. Needles 54 posted the link up on the Ravelry discussion board!
PLEASE USE THIS FORUM FOR ENTRIES ONLY. If you just want to wish Shui Kuen a Happy Birthday in regular ol’ format, see you at Elann next Friday morning!!!
Thursday, February 07, 2008
- Miss Clara P, on Knitter's Review, reviewed Buffalo Gals yarn today. Trouble was, the ball band made a break for it. As luck would have it, DH came breezin' in this afternoon, and wanted me to go ride around the golf course with him. I grabbed this hank, an Ann Budd, and my short Addis, in hopes of casting something on. DH drives golf carts like they are go-carts. Good thing I didn't pack anything trickier.
- Here's the Buffalo Gals 2 ply; this was plain and naked on my Jan 29 post and now it's sporting lime and blue raspberry Koolaid.
- My zippers came in today. They are BEAUTIFUL. Can't wait to knit stuff up and have the dry-cleaner sew the zippers in. Why yes, I AM lazy!!
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
"Earth usually conquers water, but it is too weak to control the rat, which symbolizes the most powerful water," said Raymond Lo, a Hong Kong master of feng shui, the ancient Chinese practice of trying to achieve health, harmony and prosperity by the arrangement of dates and numbers, building design and the placement of objects.
Millions of ethnic Chinese across Asia have eagerly anticipated the weeklong celebrations that kickoff the lunar new on Thursday. From Beijing to Bangkok, and Sydney to Seoul, streets are festooned with red and gold, and planes and trains packed with people heading home for the biggest family reunion of the year.
Year of the Rat predictions seem as though they're already coming true in China, where freakishly frigid temperatures in the last three weeks have claimed at least 60 lives. The worst snowstorms in five decades have crippled transportation, leaving millions stranded during the busiest travel week of the year, similar to the Christmas holidays in the West. Tang Ming, 45, a furniture factory worker in the southern city of Guangzhou, was standing in line at the train station for a fourth day last Friday, desperate to get on a train and spend the holiday with family in northern Hubei province. "It's unthinkable not to be with your family," said Tang. "I'm going to do whatever I can to go home."
Like the Chinese, the Vietnamese consider Tet, as it's called there, the most important holiday in the calendar year. Urbanites head to hometowns to visit family members or go to temples. Streets are filled with kumquat and peach blossom trees, which signify prosperity and goodwill. Markets overflow with dried fruit, colored candy and flowers.
As in many Asian countries, the Vietnamese have turned their thoughts to the animal being honored this year.
Tran Quang Thieu, 54, director of a rat extermination company on the outskirts of Hanoi, was reveling in the Vietnamese belief that the rodent population multiplies during a lunar rat year.
"This holiday will mark the start of a booming year for us, so this is a special Tet," Thieu said. "From a spiritual standpoint, I hope that our rat-killing techniques become more popular this year, so that everyone can protect their crops, factories and businesses from being ruined by rats."
Nguyen Tien Phat, who sells freshly butchered rat at a village market in the northern town of Bac Ninh, shrugs off any notion that more rat will be eaten this year than any other. They've been eating rats there for centuries, boiled and flavored with ginger, lemon and fresh herbs.
"Those who like it will eat it, and those who don't, won't," said Phat, who sells rat for US$3 a kilo.
Rats are sneered at in the West as filthy, despite the hit Hollywood animation "Ratatouille," which showed a more refined side to the gutter-dwelling rodent. They are revered in the East, however, for their anthropomorphic characteristics of wit, charm and ability to amass great wealth.
People born in the Year of the Rat include authors William Shakespeare and Truman Capote, actors Marlon Brando and Cameron Diaz, Britain's Prince Charles, climate change champion Al Gore, and former US President George H.W. Bush.
The rat is the first of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac's 12-year cycle and symbolizes new beginnings. Legend has it that the rat beat the other 11 animals in a race, not because it was any faster, but because of its cunning. After lying to the tiger about the day of the race, the rat rode most of the way on the ox before leaping off and making it first past the finish line.
In South Korea, the lunar New Year's Day coincides with "Chuseok," the Korean version of Thanksgiving holiday. Many people celebrate the day by eating a rice cake soup for breakfast, playing traditional games like a "yutnori," a board game involving wooden sticks, and spending quality time with family.
Last year, the feng shui expert Lo predicted that the clash of fire and water elements would spark more bombings and gun battles. True to his predictions, the Year of the Pig saw a slew of suicide blasts in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan, including the assassination of popular Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.
Some countries will see new leaders this year, including in the United States, where a new president will be elected in November. Celebrity fortune teller Peter So was coy about who he thought would win the race. "I can only say Hillary Clinton stands a better chance, as I don't see that Barack Obama or [Republican hopeful] John McCain will have a good year," So said.
It's tough to stop natural talent and good looks....too bad we don't understand our gifts when we are that age. Sometimes it takes a while to figure out strengths and weaknesses, and how to best utilize those qualities.
I opened my mail today and found a skein of what is EASILY the most glamourous yarn I have ever owned. It's Tilli Thomas Mogul, in the Atmosphere colorway. It is a gift that warrants a little thoughtfulness, a little introspection. It's a great neutral (for me) and has the right amount of bling in it. (But why IS it dry clean only? Bueller?) What will IT be when it grows up? No hats-the beads would tangle, so probably a yoke, bands, patterns.... And what should I partner it with? Elann's Highland Wool, or maybe some Brooks Farm? Beads aside, I LIKE the yarn, it's a nice sheepy texture. I would think that bamboo needles would be the way to go. I am a wee bit worried about things that go crunch.
Sunday, February 03, 2008
I wasn't really wild about giving up my old phone. My last few calls from Dad are still in the call menu. I worked hard all year to keep them there. But I dropped it a few months ago, and the hinge finally fell apart.
Mark bought himself a very expensive Sprint Treo last year; that's a weird calculator/phone/portable typewriter hybrid. We're still waiting for the rebate check on that. Mark was never really happy with it. So off to the Apple Store we went.
The first thing you notice is that the store is packed. They don't have sales clerks, no staff, no store partners. If you can flag a kid down, he's a concierge. I think they made a mistake on that, because MW says a concierge is:
Mark and I gave each other desperation looks several times. The store is loud, no one REALLY wants to help you or REALLY answer a question, the security alarm goes off, there's no calm place to set up your new phone accounts. It's set up weird. The guy had to go get our phones from the back-no biggie, but the cases and headsets weren't convenient, organized OR easy to find. And they are getting A LOT of your money.
DH is a computer security wonk. Ask him to type in his credit card and his SSN in that store-with his back to EVERYONE? The only reason he did it is because I watched behind him. We BOTH know better. He was distressed, and after about 5 minutes in the store, I didn't even want a phone, it was so crowded and noisy.
It was WORSE than "Saturday before Christmas" shopping at Walmart. It was AWFUL. So bad, I had to take him to lunch afterwards. At a place with real napkins. And nice staff.
Saturday, February 02, 2008
The gaeta (flops) and tabi brought me round to an interesting sidebar. Bri and I were talking a month or so ago, and she was telling me that since she moved to Florida and started wearing flip-flops, her feet grew at least a size. There is, apparently, a medical phenomena where your feet grow because of loose support provided by flops. I don't understand that-my feet GREW at 35, and I threw out all of my 6 1/2s and most of my 7s, but I thought that was just how things worked age-wise. And if flip-flop feet were the case, wouldn't there be a lot of Japanese women with size 10s?
So back to party life. DH has been in Co Spgs all week, and I've been closing up shop and getting W2s together. Today I looked at him and said "Isn't it your mom's birthday?" He sighed and said "No, it's Monday." "I didn't get her anything-what do you think?" "Flowers." Flowers. Ehh. My DMIL is a busy little bird, and appreciates most of what comes her way. Flowers just didn't send ME. I'd been in and out of East Cupcake's few shops this week, and didn't REALLY see
anything that I thought she needed. So I thought about it a little more.