Leavin’ on a jet plane Sunday, Jun 28 2009 

Amazingly enough, I made it through the flight to New York relatively calmly. I think I just might be getting better at flying–which would be awesome, since there are a great deal of places I’d like to visit that would require flying. (More specifically, many of them would require taking flights over larger bodies of water, which is possibly more terrifying than flying over land. Or possibly not, I’m still debating that one.)

Anyway, once I landed I had to get to my hotel. I’d had good experiences with Super Shuttle in San Francisco and Oakland, so I went with them–big mistake. It took me about 2 1/2 hours to get from JFK to my hotel. Which, really, is just ridiculous, and included the driver taking the long way around to play tour guide to a couple of overly chatty passengers and the van overheating enough that we spent 10 minutes sitting on the side of the street in Times Square while it cooled down. Then, they guy insisted that the confirmation that the desk printed out for me wasn’t enough proof that I had paid, so I had to pay cash, despite having put it on my credit card.

I managed to get customer service to refund the c redit card charge (probably because I sounded like any objection would result in me screaming, which it would have) and needless to say, I cancelled my return trip. I’ll cough up the cash for a cab, thanks.

Once I got in, I headed to the East Village to visit Enchantments. It was a great store–I wanted to get a lot of their oils, but unfortunately I couldn’t, since TSA rules limit how much liquid I can have on the plane. I did get some Aphrodite oil and Aphrodite bath. Because she follows me everywhere, now, apparently.

Vegan Mac & Cheese and shake!

After Enchantments, I headed to Curly’s Vegetarian Lunch. One thing I have yet to find in Berkeley and San Francisco, surprisingly, is vegan diner food. There’s vegan food, yes, but it tends to either be fine dining type food, or super healthy five-grain-wheatgrass whatever. This? This was delicious. A vegan milkshake and vegan mac and chesese. My favorite dairy-filled dishes with none of the side effects. So very, very good.

Today, I headed out early to hit the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is, hands down, my favorite place in New York City. I kind of ran through this time–there were a lot of pictures I wanted to take, particularly in the Egyptian and Greek and Roman wings. They’re on my camera, not my phone though, so I can’t upload them until I get home. After that, I headed up to the Current meetup–but more on that later (again, with pictures).

I did see some interesting things on the way.

Scientology Celebrity Center. No, seriously.

The Scientology Celebrity Center. (No, I’m not joking, that’s what it was, at least according to the awning. I didn’t dare risk going inside.)

Random lion on 82nd St

A random, cool lion.

Random male statue on 82nd St

Random female statue on 82nd St

A pair of random, Greek-looking statues outside a building.

Aphrodite Statue

One from the Museum. A statue of Aphrodite (sadly, missing her head) that was probably one of the most moving pieces I saw. But that whole part of the saga deserves a post all to itself.

Vegan cupcake. Flavor? Gay Pride Malibu Barbie

Finally, after we dispersed, I made a trip down to Babycakes and got a vegan cupcake. In honor of Gay Pride, they had Malibu Barbie cupcakes. It was good…but I have to say, the ones I make are just as good (or maybe even better). Is that bad to say? Oh well, it’s true, and makes me feel a little better about being unable to buy vegan cupcakes at home.

Now, off to get some sleep since I fly back tomorrow!

MIA Friday, Jun 26 2009 

I’ve definitely been MIA this week–from blogging and from kniting. It’s been kind of a crazy week. Lots of busy, and maybe it’s just me, but highly depressing. From the Iranian elections and the Neda video, to the less-serious but still sad trifecta of pop culture deaths with Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson.

I admit, I’m not as affected by those as some–I’m just a tad bit too young for them to really be iconic in my mind (Michael Jackson, while I know his music, is still mainly associated in my mind as the creepy guy with Neverland Ranch more than Thriller, but it’s still sad.

Aside from that, I’ve just had one of those weeks where I feel I’m running just as fast as I can to stay in the same place. At the same time, it seems like the world is cracking and shifting apart around me. I don’t know why things are happening; I can’t divine the perceptions or reasons for things that are happening and I wind up both confused and concerned.

As much as I realize control is an illusion, I gotta say, it’s one I’m kind of a fan of.

Aside from all of that, I’m heading to New York for a whirlwind trip this weekend. I’m nervous–I am not what you’d call a good flyer–but excited. There will be a lot of fun to be had, and I’m hoping to get to hit some of my favorite spots (namely, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where I could camp out for days and be as happy as  clam) as well as some new places (like Purl SoHo) if I get the chance. Oh, and of course, the actua work stuff that I’m there for!

If nothing else, at least a 5 hour plane ride should give me plenty of time to knit..right?

Dionysus Lurks in the Aisles of Goodwill Friday, Jun 19 2009 

If you’d asked me a year ago what deities I’d see myself working with, I probably would have told you the Celtic pantheon. Cerridwen, Arianrhod, Brigid. The Morrigan.

I would not have mentioned the Greeks, really, and I certainly wouldn’t have mentioned Dionysus or Aphrodite.

Funny how the Universe likes to pull little tricks on you like that.

Dionysus began showing up in my life around Beltane. I resisted him and his party-God ways (for some reason, he always looks kind of like a horned frat boy in my head) but eventually decided to make nice and let him. (He is the God of theater after all, and I am a screenwriting type.) With rules of course, and an understanding that Gods like him and girls like me didn’t really seem like a good idea.

He didn’t mention he’d be bringing friends, but that’s really a story for another time.

So, I set up my Dionysus altar.

Dionysus Altar

It’s pretty simple, in my kitchen, with some wine and bread and a candle. The silver pitcher is one that I got at a Finding Your Diety workshop at Pantheacon…which I totally dismissed because why on earth would I work with Dionysus? Haha, universe. Haha.

I’ve also been working with Athena as a Goddess of wisdom and inspiration. As part of my CAYA training, I have to work with a deity associated with each element, and Athena is my air Goddess, so she gets a little altar of her own.

Athena Altar

The owl is one that belonged to my grandmother; she collected them and I really love this little guy. I’m trying to help set a writing routine of lighting the candle and burning some orange blossom incense, but I’ve gotten a little out of practice and need to catch up.

So those are more of my altars. Sometimes, I find myself wondering if I’m really meant to work with certain deities. How do I know? How can I be sure?

Yesterday, the Universe conveniently handed me a sign that I think Dionysus might be sticking around. I suddenly found msyelf with a bunch of phone/IM messages from people–turns out Dionysus must have been lurking in the aisles of Goodwill yesterday, because Thora found the most awesome set of Dionysus dishes that she snagged for me!

Dionysus Dishes

Dionysus Dishes close-up

They are so pretty! I love that the ivy and grape motif is there, but subtle. And it works out perfectly because I’ve been meaning to get new dishes for a while but haven’t found anything I liked. I LOVE these, and I’m pretty sure Dionysus does too! I’m so grateful to have this confirm what I’m doing, and even more grateful to have such amazingly awesome friends.

Knitting away Thursday, Jun 18 2009 

Since I’m having one of those spurts of knitting productivity, I’ve been trying to take advantage of it and plow through some projects. While I was waiting for a verdict on extra yarn for the Origami Wrap Sweater, I had cast on for Glampyre’s Bulky Cabled Cardigan and began making quite a bit of progress.

Bulky Cabled Cardigan in progress

Unfortunately, I ran out of yarn there too–less surprisingly, though, since I had planned on making the smallest size. Due to some gauge issues, however, I am making the next size up. Luckily, I was able to order more yarn, and though the dyelots don’t match, it looks like a pretty good match visually.

Princess Buttercup in progress

In the meantime, I cast on for Princess Buttercup–aka, Kira K.’s Eyelet Twist sweater in Malabrigo organic cotton. I’m loving the yarn and pattern for this, and I think it’s going to make a great sweater that can be worn nearly year round and layered over tank tops or long sleeves.

Buttercup has been zipping along, but I’ve set her aside since my yarn just arrived in the mail. All that’s left of the Bulky cardigan is part of one cuff and the button bands. Then I’ll have to be off on a button-buying expedition for it (and for one of my secret projects). I’m thinking possibly wooden buttons, but who knows what I’ll find?

Midsummer Altar Wednesday, Jun 17 2009 

It’s almost Midsummer (HOW did that get here again? No, seriously, how?) which means it was time to straighten up and redecorate my altar. It feels very sunny and cheerful, which is kind of a contrast to the grey fog we’ve been seeing.

Litha Altar

I’ve been into yellow lately. It’s a tricky color; too much of it is overwhelming, and I’m always wary of knitting with it. The wrong shade just makes you look jaundiced and sickly. But I find myself fondling yellow yarns more and more…so we shall see. And, at least it helps with my dream to have a rainbow of handknit sweaters in all styles to wear. :)

But back to Midsummer–I had a tough time with this one. I coulfn’t think of  a lot of easy symbolism to add (I mainly think of, well, the sun, which you can’t exactly perch on the table like a sheaf of wheat) so I stuck with yellow and orange fabric and bright flowers. Simple, but I like it!

FO: Origami Wrap Cardigan Tuesday, Jun 16 2009 

I actually finished something! After running out of yarn, I ripped out the one long sleeve and turned it in to two short sleeves to complete my Origami Wrap Cardigan.

Origami Wrap cardigan

It’s very pink, goes perfectly with an antique rose pin that I had, and I finished it on a Friday. If that doesn’t have Aphrodite’s fingerprints all over it, I don’t know what does.

Origami wrap cardigan (back)

Overall, I really do like it. It fits well, is comfortably stretchy, and I can see myself wearing it quite a bit during the spring/summer months.

Vital Stats;

Pattern: Origami Wrap Sweater from Kira K. Designs
Yarn: Artfibers Phyz
Needles: US9 and US7

Anders likes my hat!!! Friday, Jun 5 2009 

So, I was browsing the Ravelry forums the other day and may or may not have found myself spending a little too much time on the Karl Urban appreciation thread. Which, in addition to some mind-numbingly hot photos, mentioned a thread with pictures of Anders reading Ravelry.

My curiosity aroused, I decided to hunt down the thread. Apparently, a fellow Raveler is involved with a charity that Michael Trucco suppprts. Trucco, for any non-geeks, played Sam Anders in Battlestar: Galactica.

Anyway, she showed him the Battlestar Knitters group, and in her post about it, mentioned that he loved Starbuck’s Mandala Hat!!!

I just about hyperventilated when I read that! He likes my hat! I had a total fangirl squee moment at my desk. It’s weird to think of anyone from BSG ever even seeing the hay, and the fact that he likes it is so awesome. (Michael, if you ever read this, shoot me an email and there’s a hat with your name on it. Or anyone else from BSG, really.)

This totally made my week.

Thankful Thursday 6/4/09 Thursday, Jun 4 2009 

Things to be thankful for this week:

Unexpected calls from a friend that show up exactly when I need them.

Fantastic customer service from Artfibers, even if I ultimately wasn’t able to get my yarn.

Great discussions on the nerdy knitters group on Ravelry. Even if the do have Karl Urban/Bones McCoy appreciation thread and a Zach Quinto/Spock appreciation thread but no Chris Pine/Kirk appreciation thread.

Tea. Because a cup of tea helps just about everything.

Frogging away Tuesday, Jun 2 2009 

This weekend, my parents were in town briefly, before heading to Monterey (they’ll be back next week) and I decided that off all the things we could do, a trip to Pinnole to visit ArtFibers was in order.

Yes, I’m shameless. And I needed yarn to finish my Origami Wrap Sweater.

Unfortunately, I found out that due to changes in the dye process, I won’t be able to get a close enough match to knit a second sweater. The only suggestion (other than short sleeves) was to rip it all out and alternate wtih a different color or different yarn. Which I don’t want to do because a) I’m not a huge fan of stripes or stripe-y looking things and b) if I have to rip out the body of this sweater, I swear to god I will cry.

So, short sleeves it is! I admit, I’m not wild about the idea because it’s not usually warm enough here for short sleeve sweaters (and by here, I mean both San Francisco and my freakishly air conditioned office) and I tend to think the long-sleeve shirt under short-sleeve sweater deal looks stupid more often than it looks cute. Especially on me.

But maybe I’ll vacation somewhere warm, or the air conditioning vent above my desk will mysteriously break we’ll have a warm streak. I do want to finish the sweater, and I suppose I can always get more yarn to make a long sleeved version if I really want to. I’ll just make sure to buy a lot extra!

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