31 October 2007

Corporate Executive Witch

So I got to thinking.... what would happen if the traditional witch went mainstream corporate?

Well, even with EEO policies, she'd probably have to do something about that green skin -- turns out those tanning bed shops you see in every strip mall do wonders on green skin. Also, she'd need a sleek new wardrobe -- no more tatty robes or striped stockings. And the hat and wild hair would have to go. Trade in the broom stick for a carpool, and voila! The Corporate Witch!

Corporate Executive Witch
Toyle & Truble and Associates

24 October 2007


This is a photo of my paternal grandmother, Alice on her wedding day, May 4, 1932. I remember her so fondly—I wish I could have known her when I was older, so I could better appreciate her life and to ask her the questions that it seems my family doesn’t really know the answers to, like how she met and came to marry my grandfather.

Thanks to Christine, for the inspiration for this post!

WIP Wednesday

Embarrassingly little, since I had two cross-country flights to spend knitting. It took me entirely too long to get the baby hat started again since I didn't have Eric to help me get started with the double pointed needles again. I finally got it underway on the way to Boston, and worked on it a little on they way back, but I just wasn’t in a knitting mood after we got in the air.

Huge Log Cabin blocks go together fast, but also get left alone quite a bit, so not lots of progress there, but I should still be able to present it by the holidays (assuming I can find a longarm quilter who’s available—hmmm, better start making some phone calls).

Boston: days 3 and 4

Work. After all, my employer did foot the bill for my trip.

After work on Monday, I joined some of the office folks for drinks and dinner, both at a couple of very fine places, including the Langham Boston Hotel which used to be the Federal Reserve Bank, built in 1922 . Very posh.

Over five hours, the longest conversation that didn’t have to do with work was a four minute discourse about cats. It was as if these folks didn’t realize it was Monday and that we’d be right back at the office the next day.

And my airplane karma seems to have come to an end. My boss and sponsor of my Boston trip (being a jewel-encrusted-frequent-first-class-flier herself) had given me a free upgrade coupon before we left Seattle. Since I had already checked in for the outbound flight, when she gave it to me, I called the airline and requested the upgrade for the return trip. No sweat, they told me, there’s availability and you’re in. Just bring that coupon with you. But this morning while I was packing, I called to double check and they said no, the first class section on this flight has been booked since the beginning of time, and my name wasn’t on the guest list. I had held out a little hope that the woman on the phone had made a mistake or that the middle-aged man in the grey suit would be caught in traffic and miss the flight. But alas, I’m writing this among the hoi polloi in coach. I guess that’s really why I got the first class upgrade on Saturday—they just never bothered to collect the coupon.

Boston: day 2

We walked and walked and walked on Sunday. Beautiful weather again, we headed into Boston again for historic sightseeing, shopping and eating. We started off with a stop in Cambridge to visit America’s oldest university, Harvard. I had hoped to feel smarter just by walking around, but it didn’t work. We then headed over to the Head of the Charles Regatta to watch the lean rowers zip through the water.

Harvard Library....

Head of the Charles Regatta....

Then into Boston where we walked through Boston Common and Boston Public Garden before reaching the beginning of the Freedom Trail, an interpretive trail that highlights the historic points of Boston. For about $30, you can have a guy in a three-cornered hat, coattails and buckle shoes guide you (and 40 of your closest friends) while he plays his tin whistle and yells “Oy-yay, oy-yay, oy-yay!” We skipped that but we saw Nathaniel Hall, Boston’s Civil War Memorial, Paul Revere’s house, Old South Church (where Benjamin Franklin was baptized. We also saw the Old North Church (say it with me—one if by land, and two if by sea…). There are statues of dead patriots everywhere you turn, as well as two graveyards full of the dead patriots themselves. On our way to dinner, we passed the harbor, site of the Boston Tea Party.

The famous steeple of the Old North Church....

Karen and I (with a pair of swans) at Boston Public Garden...

When we weren’t walking, we were eating. Crepes for breakfast, tea and scones around noon, tapas to die for around three, and dinner at a fabulous Italian restaurant in North End at six. We dined with Karen’s boyfriend Mike, who is a fanatical and superstitious Red Sox fan (this is not an exceptional distinction in Boston, mind you), and who insisted on getting back to his apartment to watch the game from a certain spot on the couch, while wearing the same clothes he wore the previous day, which included a specific sock that bore red magic marker meant to emulate Curt Schilling’s blood. To quote Crash Davis in Bull Durham, you never fuck with a winning streak.

sangria and tapas for lunch!

Boston: day 2

After an uneventful flight, I was greeted in Boston by clear skies and 68 degrees. I collected my bag and got my phone out to call Karen to arrange the curbside pick-up. As I was looking around me for landmarks to describe my location to her, I vaguely noticed a family of four waving frantically, presumably at another family member nearby. It took me several moments to realize that they were waving frantically at me—Karen was at the curb right in front of me (also waving frantically). Silly me.

She drove us back to her place in Somerville so I could freshen up before we headed out for dinner. We ate at an Indian restaurant in Davis Square, the quaint, casual commercial area near Karen’s place. It was warm and there was excitement in the air—the Boston Red Sox were about to start playing Game 6 of the ALCS at Fenway Park. I happened to be wearing a red shirt and felt rather in the spirit myself. After dinner, we headed into Boston for a wander and a beer at Union Oyster House (est. 1826). We watched the end of the game there and then called it a night.

22 October 2007

Boston: the flight

I checked into my flight online about 23 hours and 57 minutes before my flight was scheduled to depart. Printed my boarding pass and considered myself good to go.

Next morning, Eric drove me to the airport and I checked my bag. The woman at the ticket counter gave me a new boarding pass, but it was so darn early, I didn’t think anything of it except to check the gate number. Passed through security, found coffee, found a bagel, and parked it on a bench at the gate. I was waiting patiently to board the plane – after the super-elite-platinum-jewel-encrusted-frequent-fliers – and to double check my assigned coach-class row (which I thought was either 12 or 17), only to look – really look – at my newly issued boarding pass and to find that it read “Seat 1C”. Wait. Isn’t that first class?

Perplexed, I walked over to the podium, pointed at my seat assignment and mumbled something about having a new boarding pass, and the gate attendant said "oh! you're in first class -- right this way!". Once seated, I hesitated to buckle my seatbelt, convinced that there had been a mistake and that a man in a grey suit with greying temples was going to approach me and inform me that I was sitting in his seat. When they closed the door, I knew I was stuck. I had a choice of breakfast entrĂ©es (I had the Quiche Lorraine), and a flight attendant asking me she could get me a beverage upon takeoff. I blinked at her and quietly said “orange juice?” Seated in the very first row, I had a good view of the galley, and all of the alcohol that was served to the other first class folks – good lord, those people drank a lot, given that it was 9am!

The plane taxied out to the tarmac, and sat for a bit before the captain came over the PA system and informed us that a light had come on in the cockpit that shouldn’t be on, and that they had to get it checked out before we could take off. The passengers groaned collectively while I wondered why they couldn’t just put a piece of electrical tape over the light like the rest of us do in our cars. In the end, we left Seattle over an hour late, but arrived in Boston only 20 minutes behind schedule.

18 October 2007

from the library

oh, what do you do when you've written and printed your term paper proposal, and it includes the phrase, "though little has been written on William Hammond Hall..." and 30 minutes before you're expected to hand the proposal over, you find out that not only have more articles been written about WH Hall than you had thought, but that your professor wrote two of them?!?


14 October 2007

WIP Monday

Six HLC quilt blocks done this weekend, but I had to rip out the meager progress I had made on my sock-practice-hat when I discovered that I had been knitting backwards. So far I am the only person I know who uses little bits of paper to remind me which direction to knit in, or whether I am supposed to knit or purl next.

And now, introducing.... Eric's WIP! He's building a headboard for our bed...

dogs in the mist

More fog this morning, and Matte joined us with Micky and Boo at Marymor Dog Park. And I just love taking pictures of how high Finn jumps....

Finn let his good buddy Micky have a shot at the tennis ball too...

I just love this pic -- "hi mom!"

autumn has arrived

Since I've moved to Seattle (the first place I've lived where I really noticed and appreciated true fall colors) I've felt compelled to try to capture the colors somehow. My photography skills just aren't up to the task, so I've started taking pictures of the other things that say autumn to me.
We awoke on Saturday morning to dense fog which condensed on the many, many, many spiderwebs we have around here. We explored a little in the morning by heading out to Mukilteo for breakfast, and stopped at Sky Nursery on the way home, where we loaded up on bulbs, cover crop seed and a couple of houseplants.
Soon I'll be putting bulbs in the ground: garlic and shallots, as well as tulips, narcissus, muscari, stargazer lilies and calla lilies. Eric planted some bearded iris recently that his mom sent us from San Diego -- they seem to be doing great in the dark soil and with the rain we had last week...

And the end of autumn brings a massive garden cleanout. The last haul brought in carrots, swiss chard, corn and a couple late tomatoes. We harvested some green beans and red onions for planting again next year.

09 October 2007

WIP Tuesday

The table is covered with log cabin strips...

And Eric suggested that I try to knit a hat before I get to the decreasing and increasing part of the sock, so here goes...

07 October 2007

sick as a dog -- on the mend

Finn is lucky to have so many great friends, and he is feeling much better, thanks!

06 October 2007

socktoberfest is going to be a long month, I can tell

I'm not sure what I've gotten myself into. Today I purchased a set of double pointed knitting needles that resemble overgrown toothpicks, and a skein of yarn that, while beautiful, looks more like it should be stored with my embroidery thread.

05 October 2007

sick as a dog

When the alarm went off at oh-dark-thirty this morning, it had already been a long day. We had to haul Finn off to the emergency vet at midnight after he'd been vomiting and showing signs of being really uncomfortable (pacing, lying down, getting right back up, repeat). When we took him outside and he started chowing down on the grass like he was competing with a lawnmower, we knew it was time to go.

Exams and vitals showed that he was certainly uncomfortable, and showing signs of nausea (good thing the vet knows what dog nausea looks like), but otherwise healthy, so the leading candidate was a GI tract obstruction. So off to the x-ray room he went. The images revealed that he hadn't swallowed anything that'd be detectable on an x-ray, and that he had a lot of air in his intestine, which the vet told us, indicates that he may have ingested something small and long, like string, dental floss, etc. which causes the intestine to bunch up and get air pockets. We can't think of where he got ahold of anything like that, but we can't say that it couldn't happen. Anyway, for now we're in wait-and-see mode, serving the dog a bland diet and seeing if there's any recurrence of the vomiting/discomfort. He's kept everything down so far today, he certainly has an appetite, and he's as playful as ever.

If I hadn't been handing over the Visa card at 2:30 this morning, I wouldn't have believed there was anything wrong. Silly dog.

04 October 2007


As if I didn’t have enough crafts getting geared up now that the sun spends less and less time in the sky (and more and more behind the clouds), I intend to use Socktoberfest to start my very first knitted sock! Enough with the scarves, washcloths, and hats…. it’s time to attempt… A SOCK! (insert triumphant fanfare here).

Fortunately for me, Knitmoka has agreed to help me get started (and hopefully around the dreaded heel). She's set me off with a shopping list and a pattern is en route. Wish me luck!

01 October 2007

WIP monday

I told Eric on Friday that if I didn't get some quilting in over the weekend, I just might explode. I still think that may be true, yet I still haven't been able to put an hour or two together in order to make it happen. How I couldn't manage that on the first lovely, soggy, gray weekend of autumn, I have no idea, but here I am, Monday night and working at home instead of crafting.

But I will tell you about my WIPs, nonetheless!

I am still collecting wine bottle labels for my cork board project. This has lead to a plethora of wino jokes at work, since I've been getting most of the bottles at work. I have a couple of folks who bring me their bottles, then I take them home and remove all the labels (even the backside ones that I won't be using), bring them back to the office and deposit the naked bottles with a co-worker who makes wine and reuses the bottles. I get the labels, and he gets the clean bottles.
I heat the bottles up in the oven to soften the label adhesive...

I have been pouring over the latest edition of Quilting Arts Magazine making notes on all of the beautiful embellishments in preparation for my first art quilt. I am actually jittery with excitement for this project!

I am still plugging along on my homemade present for Lisa -- it got stalled a little while the family was in town, but I showed it to them, and they loved it's nerdiness!

There's nothing like the changing autumn colors to get the creative self going. I think the brisk autumn winds have something to do with it too. Now if I could just knit up some more time...