Saturday, March 21, 2009

k-brow: there are no words

in this here blog:

Grass Doe

Just amazing, beautiful pictures of people, places and food.

Friday, March 20, 2009

k-brow: oh look, a meme!

I'm on spring break now and feeling lazy.

1. Can you cook? What?
I'm a good cook. I specialize in soups, stews and peasant foods, for the most part, but am also able to bake bread, cakes from scratch and biscuits.

2. What was your dream growing up?
To be a hippie chick and live outside of Blacksburg, VA on a little farm with chickens, horses and goats, with my guitar-playing soulful boyfriend.

3. What talent do you wish you had?
Some sort of musical talent.

4. Favorite place?
In all the world? Probably the area of the country where I grew up. Close contenders are: the Sonoran Desert, the island of Java, London.

5. Favorite vegetable?
Kale. Homegrown tomatoes.

6. What was the last book you read?
"The Friday Night Knitting Club". meh.

7. What zodiac sign are you?

8. Any Tattoos and/or Piercings?
Ears pierced.

9. Worst Habit?

10. Do we know each other in real life?
Many of you do.

11. What is your favorite sport?
I am not sporty, by nature. Dog agility?

12. Is a glass of water half-full or half empty?

13. What would you do if you were stuck in an elevator with me (after we called for help, of course)?
Oh, just talk your ear off.

14. Would you share an embarrassing moment with me? doubt.

15. Tell me one weird fact about you:
I constantly look for ways to break tiny insignificant rules.

16. Do you have any pets?
2 poodle dogs.

17. Can you read a book upside down?
uh...why do you want to know?

18. What time is it where you are now?
5:23 pm. Time to walk the dogs and figure out dinner.

19. Who was the scariest fairy-tale/children movie hero ever for you?
I was terrified of pictures of a cyclops in a children's encyclopedia.

20. If you could change one thing about how you look, what would it be?
I'd be more muscular.

21. Would you be my crime partner or my conscience?
your conscience.

22. What color eyes do you have?

23. Ever been arrested?
I had a warrant placed for my arrest for a bicycle traffic violation, but I paid a fine and got off without going to the pokey.

24. A cop or a robber?
Probably, in spite of my sneaky ways, a cop.

25. If you won 10,000 pounds/dollars today, what would you do with it?
Maybe do some repairs on my house. Take a trip to Japan. Bring my sister along.

26. What kind of bubble gum do you prefer to chew?
Dubble bubble.
27. Favourite fastfood restaurant?
Taco Bell, and in Hawaii, Zippy's.

28. Do you believe in ghosts?

29. Favorite thing to do in your spare time?
Knit. Read. Daydream.

30. Do you swear a lot?
Hell, yes. More than I'd like to.

31. Biggest pet peeve?
Gosh, I can't think of anything that really bothers me at the moment.

32. In one word, how would you describe yourself?

33. Will you repost this so I can fill it out and do the same for you?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

k-brow: court intrigues

A weekend dedicated to the migraine, and too much fioricet, resulting in more sleep than any one person needs. I feel better now, and actually managed to get a few things done, knitting, even. But I'm left with the residual feeling of deprivation. Now back at work, all I can think of is that Spring Break is coming, and not a minute too soon.

This thing, this theme of "Keep the country country" cracks me up. There are very few places on Oahu I'd call actual "country", and certainly Sunset Beach/Waimea, where this pic was taken, isn't one of them. But I do get the gist of it, that desire to return to a simpler time, or at least to preserve what simplicity remains. (as always, click to get biggety-like images)

Speaking of old times gone by, and simple stuff that's gone completely crazy in these modern times...

Our school is having this crazy spring fling with a court and everything. A court. Here in the islands, there's this practice of choosing a king and queen (formerly on May Day) and princesses and escorts, in the elementary schools each year. Like a prom, only not with the dancing and dates and suchlike. But definitely an opportunity for sowing the seeds of princess behavior. Hell, I've heard it's even done in preschools. It's a little bit precious, especially as it gets all mixed up with Hawaiian language and culture studies, at least at our school. The queen has to do a special hula, and each class that performs (because it's nothing if not a huge freakin' performance opportunity) has to bow to the court before the performance. It's some crazy stuff, and coming right hard on the beginning of break, end of the quarter and right before state testing. I complained about the bowing thing, today, and got a good warning about trying a little harder to not mess up the authenticity of the fete...showing proper respect to the court, etc. Oh man... while I like royalty and all, and DEFINITELY think our queen is a good kid and one who deserves every honor, this court thing has gone a little over the top. My bowing complaint was mostly because it didn't flow with my class's performance, which requires them to start offstage, not onstage. Nevertheless, I sucked it up and choreographed in a little bow. I know not to mess with royalty. Or traditions at this school. It's just that this mix of European royalty tradition and Hawaiian culture played out in school customs is something I can't quite get my head around.

I am counting the days. Oh lord, am I counting the days. I am so counting the days.

Lest this turn into a rant about things I don't really mean, I feature now a shot of the burgeoning Nuuanu stream, the very one that runs through Acornbud's backyard, and on downhill into our own neighborhood. I go to sleep each night to the sound of this creek, and it is very full right now, with all the rain we've been having. It is more natural uphill, in our 'hood it's this fenced in culvert thing, as pictured. Still, the area is lush and green. Occasionally, one sees ducks hanging out, and I think our resident toads do their breeding there.

No knitting to show, I am trying to finish Must Have, so I can wear it on my endless flight to Atlanta. But our jade plant is responding to the newfound sunshine with a touch of red.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

k-brow: lion or lamb?

Thus goes March. Yesterday, sunny and cool; possibly the most beautifully perfect Hawaiian spring day I've ever seen. I got sunburned standing outside at school, coaching my students through their dance practice. Today, it's cold and rainy again. Rain all day, and temperatures back in the 60's. I had a migraine, leftover from yesterday, and spent much of the day in fitful sleep, aided by the miracle of Fioricet. Awoke at 5pm, declared myself cured, and took the dogs outside for a sunset frolic at Nuuanu schoolyard.

It was Pi day; 3.14, so P made a pie; Bstilla, to be precise:

So yummy, accompanied by a green salad. Too rich for dessert, though I am eating a bit of dark chocolate with a cup of red zinger tea now.

Because of the all day sleep, I'm not the least bit sleepy. I'm sitting up, shrouded in Lady Eleanor, Ella at my feet, watching first a fascinating show about ancient architecture on the History channel, and now the movie, "Yentl" on Showtime. Knitting on this sweet confection of a sock:

The elusive Trekking 126. It's been lounging in stash for a couple of years. I think, at one time, it was discontinued or in high demand or something. I love its colors; neapolitan, or like that Brach's coconut candy that's so hard to find. The pattern is the basic sock recipe from Sensational Knitted Socks, which is my sock bible. Knit 3, purl 1, top down on 2 circular needles, size US1. Trekking is my go-to sock yarn. I own others, but it is this yarn that I most frequently knit up into socks.

I'm feeling sock-positive, these days. I am not one of those knitters who knits exclusively socks. You know the ones. But moving to the mainland, I'm thinking that a few pairs of handknit socks could be a good thing. It would chew up some stash, as well.

I've seen the new Knitty, and I love the Reverie and Sourwood Mountain patterns. Especially Sourwood. I will knit those mitts. I've got the perfect yarn for them, a deep green Jo Sharp Silkroad DK, in stash. Another portable project for one burnt out on hefty undertakings.

I am going to Atlanta for a few days over Spring Break, week after next. Might as well go see the place where I'll be living...looking forward to the getaway, looking forward to spring on the East Coast, but oh my, do I fear that nonstop flight from HNL to ATL!! Endless time in the air. I'm already making a playlist for the iPod; I've corralled the perfect book; Wally Lamb's "The Hour I First Believed", and I've got the socks and the UFO Chevron Scarf to finish. And still, it will be an endless flight, in coach. Thank the goddess I have an aisle seat.

I love this movie "Yentl." It's about a woman in eastern Europe, in the early 1900's, who wants to study Torah. Barbara Streisand cuts her hair, and somehow convinces the men she's a young boy and goes to seminary, only not seminary. I guess it's yeshiva. Anyway, good stuff, for an escapist night. We have the love interest of Mandy Patinkin lighting up the screen as well.

I went to Knit Night on Thursday, mostly because errands took me there, but also to wish Acornbud a happy birthday. She ended up gifting me with a bag of lavender flowers and some homemade soap! Heavenly stuff, both. The lavender is destined to be stuffed into a sachet, and the soap is too pretty to use, but I guess I'll have to. I hadn't been to Knit Night for weeks, and I haven't particularly missed it. It feels like too much, the working all day, coming home and running the dogs and then racing out to Ward Center. The group is bigger, now, and it just seems easier to curl up on the couch and light a stick of incense, brew a cuppa and knit in my own peaceful house, most nights. There is the social dimension, though. I will play it by ear, this Knit Night hiatus.

In a total non-sequitur, yesterday, at school, at lunch, we were talking in the teachers' lounge about how I would miss local foodstuffs. I remarked that I was very consciously making sure to keep Apple Bananas, pineapple and papaya in stock all the time, now to enjoy while I'm here. Two of my coworkers remarked that they never ate fresh pineapple here, but preferred the canned! I nearly fell out of my chair. One remarked "I don't like to mess with it." Hey, I'll mess with it. I was always a fresh pineapple eater on the mainland, though, it seemed more like a splurge or a rare treat, there, rather than diet staple that it is here.

We found daffodils in the Safeway today. 'Tis the season.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

k-brow: i am elinor dashwood

I am Elinor Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

I was so honest taking this quiz, it wasn't even funny. But I was hoping to get Anne Eliot, who is my favorite Austen heroine. Ahh, well, I won't cheat.

Cold. Rainy. Frozen lasagna in the oven. Gonna go finish the Clapper and do some schoolwork.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

k-brow: a dispatch from the submerged world

I'm up uncharacteristically early on a Sunday morning; it's about 7:30. I'm up because Ella peed on the bed in her sleep. Arrrrh. Doesn't happen all that often but it's a rude awakening. Spay incontinence can be a bitch. Heh. I said "bitch" in reference to my female dog. Lest I sound completely uncompassionate, let me assure you that she is being treated, with Chinese herbal compound Suo Quan Wan, which works fairly well, and is much gentler than the alternative, Proin, which my vet describes as "dexatrim" for animals. I think she drank a lot of water last night and was just really tired or something. Anyway, the sheets are in the wash, and the bed is coated liberally with Nature's Miracle. Rude awakening, nevertheless.

But all worth it, because I got to see a patch of blue sky. That is something, around here, let me tell you. It's been a whole lotta this, recently:

We simply do not see the sun in Nuuanu, and it rains more often than not, these days. I've taken to going to other parts of the island to see what sun there is to be seen and to feel like I'm drying out a bit. It's been windy, too, adding to the general feeling of cold. I'm not alone in my incessant whingeing about this weather, but I'm even getting tired of hearing myelf!

The external conditions are mirrored for me, internally, so I really want to do nothing more than burrow under the sheets and sleep until April wakes me up. But work is eating my life right now, so to work I must go, where it is no sunnier, and where I am scrambling frantically, to finish out the quarter, as well as coach a bunch of kids in a dance performance that I'm just learning as they are. Ugh. I do not like this extracurricular aspect of teaching. Usually I run a homework club, but as our class gets ready for its big Spring Fling, it's flinging extra responsibilities my way. Add this to the burgeoning hormones and pre-adolescent drama of the 5th graders, and you've got a recipe for exhaustion. Far worse than the exhaustion, though is the condition of "no joy."

A conversation with a friend last week reminded me that life could be far, far worse, and that I am very blessed and lucky, indeed, but it's a difficult time of year, nevertheless. I won't be but so magnanimous on the blog, thank you.

Still, there was a little glimpse of blue sky today.

My knitting on Clapotis, in the "Driving Through December in Virginia" colorway of Silk Garden, continues. I am on the last few decrease rows, now, and am enjoying this knitting, with its stockinette soothing me all the way. I chose to knit the thing on straight needles. I often start a project on my Lantern Moon straights, mostly because they are so beautiful to see and touch, but then, as the project gets heavier, I switch to the Denise circulars. Not so for this project. The rosewood was too nice a match for the earthy colors of the yarn, and I needed the thrill of pleasure I got each time I picked up the needles. It hasn't been all that heavy, and the Lantern Moons are pointy and fast, fast, fast. Even for a slow knitter like me. Here is a progress shot, though we are long past that, as well:

I am looking forward to wearing this so much! I have never knit a clapotis that I kept for myself that was truly satisfying, and I have a feeling this will be the one.

I spent a nice evening at Acornbud's last week. She surprised me with a Guinness upon my arrival, and things just got better from there. It was good to get out of my own house and head, and just enjoy the company of friends and great food. Chris made a rare appearance, and Blogless Michelle came over and brought vegan cupcakes along with Baby Max, who is not pictured here, alas... which were these incredible gingerbread things with lemon buttercream (except that there was no butter nor cream in the recipe) frosting. Now I'm no vegan, but when someone brings me cupcakes, especially in a flavor I was craving, I'm not going to quibble semantics. Blogless Michelle is taking over the world with her culinary experiments, and establishing a new identity as a meat-eating vegan. We are the happy beneficiaries of her experiments.

There's sun actually shining across the valley this morning. Albeit, a weak lemon buttercream sort of sun, but it shines nevertheless. I'm going to refill my coffee and try and finish up my clapper this morning, and hope for beach weather soon.