Monday, June 22, 2009

k-brow: a tune-up

More of the dog ice cream party here. As always, click the pic to biggify.

Listening to lots of progressive rock from the 70's tonight. Renaissance, Genesis, King Crimson, as well as the progs of the New Millenium; Joanna Newsome and The Decemberists. I do love iTunes, particularly to feed the prog-rock fangirl. Yum.

Little else to report. I ate cupcakes. Did a huge recycling run this evening, and took the dogs out. I am slowly finding my mojo again, through sheer necessity.

Lord, but I need a brow wax! Or at least a good sit-down with the tweezers.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

k-brow: something for everyone

A little break in the cleaning action, as P returned to HI for a few days to turn 50, and to tie up loose ends. We haven't been especially productive, and have spent the time he's been here, mostly hanging out, or visiting old favorite Oahu haunts. Last night, we went to dinner at Roy's, the restaurant of local boy chef Roy Yamaguchi. Yum. I had the best cocktail I think I've had in a very long time. Later, P ferreted around the internets and found the recipe for me. Maybe to get me to stop talking about it, since it's been a major topic of my obsession, since:

A signature cocktail and most welcoming beginning to any Roy’s experience.

1 ripe pineapple, rind removed
2 cups Skyy Vodka
1 cup Malibu Coconut Rum
1 cup Stoli Vanil
2 oz simple syrup or liquid sugar

Place one inch slices of pineapple into one gallon container. In a separate container, blend Skyy Vodka, Malibu Rum, Stoli Vanil’ and simple syrup. After sugar is completely dissolved, add to sliced pineapples. Let stand at room temperature for at least three days (the infusion process gives the beverage a subtle pineapple taste). When ready to serve, for each drink, fill a martini shaker with ice, pour in 4 oz. of Hawaiian Martini mix and shake aggressively. Strain into chilled martini glass and garnish with a wedge of fresh pineapple. Serves 6.

I will be making these, for sure!

Father's day is tomorrow, and I have to say, I've never before been conscious by how many ads for dad-type stuff there are out there. I don't know how I'll feel tomorrow. I've been really sad, lately, about my dad; it sneaks up on me, unexpectedly, at times. I'll see little things that remind me of him; a display of gorgeous tomatoes at the farmer's market, a fishing rod at the hardware store. Or I'll hear my mom complaining about a rabbit in the garden, and I'll think of how he'd have recommended just going out and shooting the damn thing. My sweet cousin messaged me on Facebook a few days ago, sending love and support for the coming weekend, and it struck me that we're in the same boat, now. Sometimes I get so caught up in my little shut-in world, that I don't stop to consider how I'm almost never alone, in my situation.

I am cranking out the last rows of the body of Miss February Lady. No idea, really, if it'll fit okay or not, just confident that blocking will erase a world of woes, should it come to that. I've recently come to the conclusion that I am at SABLE (stash acquisition beyond life expectancy) status, and I need never buy yarn again. A happy place for a knitter who's just gone unemployed, unless she's a knitter who likes to shop for yarn, and I do. But last week, as I emptied the yarn dresser out, and lovingly packed those many, many skeins into the two big Rubbermaid tubs, it hit me that I've got lots to knit, in the coming year. And incredibly, nothing which will suffice for the Whisper Cardigan. meh. I've got other things in the pipeline.

Still no move date. The coming week holds some more handyman time with Randall, and some decisions to make about how much home improvement I can afford. I'm still under budget for this place, and for the Atlanta house, too. After a banner week, in which I trapped 4 rats in 4 days, I appear to be done with rats. I know the recent rain may have lured them back outside, though, so I continue to set and place the traps diligently, in hopes of conquering this problem once and for all. I've been locating the rat nests and stashes around the house; mostly under sofas, behind the big green hutch, and in the pantry. I found the gnawed top of my dog biscuit jar, a crime I had wrongly accused Cricket of committing, some weeks ago. I found the remains of my Easter candy, as well as some shredded vacuum cleaner bags in the pantry. Mercifully, the rat bastard left me 3 bags intact, which hopefully will get me through this move and into the Atlanta house.

A friend, a few days ago, was talking about resurrecting her blog, and turning it into a type of gratitude journal. I have a hard time sticking to any one format for my blogging (witness the paltry attention paid to knitting, these days) but this is an idea which intrigues me. Some things that I'm grateful for at the moment:

Broken screens as an excuse to run my air conditioning
The cousin, who's been a tremendous moral support to me, lately
Jo Sharp
Showtime On Demand
Tricycle Daily Dharma
The return of Nu'uanu's rains
The plethora of lizards here: skinks, anoles and geckos!

Cricket is grateful for the rare treat of the Frosty Paws canine ice cream. He's a slob, though, and just tosses his trash around.

On to my dinner of chips, guacamole, asparagus, pineapple and ramen noodles. Yes, we are well-fed here at Chez Nu'uanu Estate!

Monday, June 15, 2009

k-brow: sarong living and media check

I'm unemployed at last. With 3 paychecks coming over the next 6 weeks, it could be worse. I finished up at school, and have been trying to muster houscleaning/purging/organizing mojo, with mixed results. The heat and post-school exhaustion have conspired against me, but I'm getting a bit done, and finding my rhythm. Also, continuing to trap rats, and ferret out their little hiding places within my house.

Some lovely knitting in public yesterday, for WWKIP Day, and then Blogless Michelle and I hung out and ran around, picking up a big dog shipping crate for Master Cricket, who will soon be flying the friendly skies to his new home in Atlanta. He'd outgrown the one he'd traveled in from Australia. Blogless' brother-in-law generously gave me one from one that dear, departed Emma had used. I gave him some pinot noir in exchange. Win, win.

One of the great joys of summer and not having to be anywhere in particular, is sarong living. Two years in West Africa and time spent traveling in SE Asia have made me a dedicated sarong wearer. Cooler than a skirt, and somehow more versatile, (it's a dress! a towel! a blanket!) I am all about the sarong these days. Oh yeah, and I'm drinking my coffee iced in the mornings, in an attempt to keep cool.

Crazy violet toenail polish: "Jiggy" by Creative Nail Designs. Some salon stuff I scored via my sister's Beauty Supply connections. I am always all about the shades of purple, these days.

Little else. I have taken advantage of our Showtime On Demand to marathon season 1 of "Dexter" which was grimly pleasing in a rather scary way. I never thought I'd get sucked into a series about a vigilante serial killer, but Dex's do-good attitude about his hobby, and his mad forensic skillz, plus that terrific supporting cast just hooked me. Now it's on to season 2...

This video, Roseanne Cash's "The Wheel," was posted on the Owl's Wings blog a few days ago, and I am just bedazzled by how many tarot images there are in it. I love the song, and adore the tarot-ness of it all. Enjoy.

I wonder if it's just some director's brilliant idea, or if Roseanne is an aficianado of the cards?

I'm off to fry some rice for dinner, with veggies. Broccoli, red peppers, edamame n' bacon! Yeah, I know...bacon's not a vegetable.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

k-brow: hillbilly exiled

Where would I possibly find enough leather
With which to cover the surface of the earth?
But just leather on the soles of my shoes
Is equivalent to covering the earth with it

Likewise it is not possible for me
To restrain the external course of things
But should I restrain this mind of mine
What would be the need to restrain all else?


I am a big fan of Tricycle magazine's online Daily Dharma. You can be, too.

School is over, though my work isn't nearly done. Fatigue, crushing heat, and a sore knee forced me to flee early today, after an emotional goodbye to some of my students and their parents. This job, with this age group, drives me crazy. The kids are biologically programmed to rebel and fight me at every turn, but are so young still, that some get teary when they tell me goodbye. Arrrgh. And the parents...I love the parents, all about my age, and funny as hell. Am I glad to quit the job? You betcha. But I'll miss the parents, now, especially now that I'm not accountable to them. And the kids, well, the 11 year old is a thorny, feisty creature.

I came home and slept off my Keneke's food coma in the breezy heat, and then got up and played with the dogs and drank more ice water

I am watching some History Channel marathon of "Hillbillies: The Real Story" about my people. Fascinating stuff. Feeling a little sad that my experience of teaching American History is ended,for the moment, but more than a little jazzed about going back to hillbilly land, if only for a drive-by.

A little shot of a graveyard angel, from my Oahu Cemetary walk:

I promised knitting, and I am a woman of my word:
(click my pix to biggify)
The Simple Yet Effective Shawl, in its tadpole form. A bit of a tedious knit, but I like the stripes caused by alternating skeins. Noro is addictive. Kureyon sock yarn is a bit like knitting with twine, but I know it will soften up.

Miss February Lady, almost done with the body. The true color is the more purple version above, with a little help from the touch-up features of iPhoto. I love this pattern, memorizable lace is a beautiful thing.

I need to go to bed, nap or not. My sleep is all jacked up, still, due mostly to silly aimless naps and coffee drinking and general craziness. But tomorrow is a long, intense day of working my ass off, so I should admit to that, eat a salted caramel and just take myself to bed.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

k-brow: been awhile, hasn't it?

I still tag my entries with "k-brow" in the hopes that DisKnit will return, but then I haven't been exactly an exemplary blogger, myself, now, have I?

I tell you, it all hinges on the damn camera, on how it seems like too much work to shoot, download, upload and narrate my life pictorally. If I could just log in and write, then it seems like it would be easier. meh. I think I'm just overloaded.

P has moved to Atlanta, and is living in the empty Atomic Ranch. I am wrapping up life here, though it seems to move at an incremental pace, as school creeps on. It will go faster, after school is out and I can dedicate my energies to getting ready for the move.

Two more working days (not counting tomorrow, which I will spend, in its entirety, in the classroom) and I can walk away from this job, which has been such a trial for the past 3 years. Of late, it's been particularly odious. The students have been just plain mean to each other, a co-worker has been giving me the silent treatment, because I openly disagreed with her about someone we'd interviewed to be my replacement. The interviews went badly, and I eventually just took myself off the committee, after realizing that I really didn't care, and didn't need to care whom they hired for next year...

I am spending tomorrow, all day, in the classroom, in hopes of getting the major bulk of my work done, so I can leave on my last paid day. I do not want to give any more time to my employers. It will be nice to be at work with no one there, to print out the report cards, to pack up closets, to sponge all the dead ants out of my desk and clear out my cubbies. Try to remember what it was like to love teaching, love having my own classroom. Try to sort out whether this is a huge sea change in my feelings around my career, or just this crazy job, these past few years. Time will tell.

I've been getting together, sporadically with the knitters. Dinner with Acornbud and son, who knits not, spinning with Opal, finally making it back to knit night, and hanging out with Barb and Lilikoi and sampling the joys of Menchie's Frozen Yogurt.

Knitting has been going on, if sporadically. February Lady for at-home, and Laura Chau's Simple Yet Effective Shawl for out and about. Pix to come when I get around to it.

My war with the rats continues. They are winning, I think. I caught one last week, but my remaining snappy traps are bent out of shape and I need to replace them. I'm thinking about going with an electronic trap, which my friend on Maui recommends. It's expensive, but re-usable, and if it raises my catch rate, it'll be worth the cost,(about $40 + batteries) since now, the rats are springing the snappy traps and eating the bait, some nights. Rat drama seems to be a major topic of conversation amongst the catless denizens of Hawaii, amusingly enough. I had a discussion with my auto mechanic's wife, last week, and she was sketching out the differences between roof rats, Norway rats, and mice, for me. It seems I've gotten one Norway rat, 3 roof rats and about a dozen mice, if her taxonomy can be believed.

Now, kind readers, to reward your patience, as I document the sorrows of my spinsterly life of rat-battling and child wrangling, I have some pix of life in Nu'uanu:
A beautiful temple here on Nu'uanu Avenue, about a mile from our house. Isn't it just gorgeous? I wish my house looked like this...

A favorite dogwalking place, the venerable Oahu Cemetary. Especially now that the pink trees are in bloom. I do love me a graveyard.

The latest pic of our stream. Note how dry it is...we haven't had much rain in the past weeks.

The most photogenic member of our household, looking ahead.

I am off to bed, to rest up for tomorrow's toil. Insomnia has been plaguing me a bit, but I'm hoping to get a few hours tonight...