Monday, November 20, 2006

A Short Week.

I got my Vibe last Thursday, and I'm loving it!
I'll take a pic sometime soon and post more about it later this week.

This is also a short week for me, and I am very much looking forward to it.
I'll be working a half day on Wednesday and am off Thursday and Friday.

Wednesday afternoon I'll be baking desserts to take to my aunts house for Thanksgiving dinner.
One of my favorite pies is the Caramel Pippin Apple at Z-Pies, a GREAT gourmet pot pie shop in Placerville.
For Thanksgiving dinner, I'll be attempting my own version of a Caramel Apple Pie, complete with homemade caramel sauce. I'm thinking I'll be using a variety of apples. I went to Whole Foods this evening and picked up some Granny Smith, Fuji, Gala, and Pink Lady apples for the filling. Whole Foods didnt have any Pippin apples so I may stop by the Co-Op tomorrow night. I'd also like to try putting some Honeycrisps in it, but Whole Foods didn't have any Honeycrisps and I'm not sure where else I would be able to find them. Thats the only grocery store I can recall ever seeing them at. I considered grabbing an asian pear while I was at Whole Foods and mixing that in with the apples for the filling, but had second thoughts. What do you think? Should I mix one or two asian pears in with the apples? Any other suggestions?
I will be cheating by using a store bought pastry though. I'm not up to making the crust from scratch.

So, other than baking a pie Wednesday evening and dinner with the family on Thursday, I have no plans for my extra long weekend. I do know that I will go no where near a mall, Walmart, Kmart or Target on Friday though. I've never liked the "Black Friday" shopping sprees. I did it once when I was 18, and that was enough for me.
Hopefully, I'll get a lot of knitting done. I'm still working on my sweater, but am no where near as far along as I would like to me. I'm only about 90% done with the back portion - then theres still the front and the arms, then the blocking and the seaming..... and I'm supposed to have this finished by the end of the month.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Aaaaaaannnnnnnnnd, I'm dumb.

Saturday I went and test drove the Pontiac Vibe. I really like it, I think I could love it.
I'll be picking it up tomorrow, provided everything goes through with the financing.

I'm very excited, but still a little nervous. I've never bought a BRAND NEW car before.
Granted, I would have never given a Pontiac a second glance before. But, after researching it and finding out that it has a Toyota engine and transmission, I'm confident that it will be reliable and will last me a while. Provided that the curse of being rear ended has expired.

The test drive went well, I was surprised at how much "pep" the thing has considering that it has a four cylinder engine.
With the four cylinder Toyota Corolla engine, I'm looking forward to how much money I'll be saving on gas. My old Explorer gets about 14-15 mpg in the city and I can get 17-18 mpg highway. With the Vibe I should get about 30 mpg city and 36 mpg highway. Fantastic!!!
Sooo.... Saturday evening I'm test driving the Vibe with the sales woman, Barb. As we pull back in to the dealership I'm looking over the console and the lay out and asking questions. Like this...

Me: Whats this "18"? Is that the gas mileage? Because I thought that with the Corolla engine it was supposed to get something like 30 mpg.
Barb, in the most kindergarten teacher voice I've heard since, well, kindergarten: Honey, thats how many miles are ON the car.

Aaaaannnnnnnd, I'm dumb.
I mean, I KNOW that this is a new car but I'm just having a hard time comprehending that there can be that few miles on a car.

Monday, November 13, 2006


I always love the first few rains of the season. Lying here, listening to it fall on the large, heavy leaves of the magnolia tree outside my window. It always gives me the sense that everything can just be washed clean and made fresh.
I'm sure that by February I'll be cursing the rain, but for now, its comforting.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Friday Night Lights

Last night was my brothers last high school football game.
Unfortunately, they lost. Their heart just wasn't in it.
Earlier this week the team found out that although they had qualified for the playoffs, they wouldn't be able to play because of the incompetency of the schools athletic director. Twice during this season they had had new students tranfer in who were on the football team. The coaches all thought everything was good to put these new players in games. Afterwards they found out that the athletic director had failed to turn in paperwork to the league offices which made the players ineligible to go out on to the field. As a result, the team had to forfeit 2 preseason games and 2 season games. Even though the team was 7-2 on the field, they were 3-6 on paper making them ineligible for the playoffs.
The team they played against last night was undefeated for the season, and my brothers team started out strong, keeping the score even for the first quarter, but after a couple of 15 yard penalties for players dropping the "f-bomb" on the field (even though it was in their own huddles and not directed at anyone) they got discouraged and let the other team stomp all over them. The end score was 40 to 8.

In other news, I got my car back from the auto body shop last week and finally took it in to have the transmission looked at.
My mechanic came back with very bad news, more than I had anticipated. Not only do I need a new transmission, but something called the hub bearings is busted. I still don't understand exactly what that is, but if not fixed my right front wheel could fly off while driving down the road. Not good. Just to get the car up to where it would be safely operable would be about $3,500 (thats at my mechanics cost - he'd be cutting me a pretty sweet deal). To fix EVERYTHING thats wrong with it (including a leaking sunroof, the electrical to the antennae, and a few other minor things) would be another $1,000. Considering its a 1995 with over 172,000 miles, my mechanic doesn't think it would be a very good idea to put that kind of money into it. So, I'm going to test drive a new car tonight. I'd been looking at a used Toyota Matrix, but realized that the Pontiac Vibe is the exact same car (its a joint venture between Pontiac & Toyota) and a brand new Pontiac is actually a little less than a 2 year old Toyota, plus through my work I qualify for GM supplier discount pricing with Pontiac. This is what I'm test driving tonight...

Does it look too soccer-mom-station-wagon-ish??
I wanted to keep some of the roominess of an SUV, but quite so big and better gas mileage. So far, this seems to be the best to meet all of those criteria.
I swear, I am not driving a new car home tonight. I still have to clean out my Explorer so that I can trade it in and move some money around to make the funds available for my down payment.

P.S. Kimananda, I have an Apple iBook G4 and I LOVE it. I would like to get one of the new MacBooks though.

Friday, November 03, 2006

So... Tired.... Can't... Knit....

I was able to cast on Viveka last night and I got about 5 or 6 rows of the back done. But, thats where I stopped.

Tonight, I went to my brothers football game. His team (Valley Christian Academy) won, 48 to 13, and they're now guaranteed to be in the playoffs.

Soooo, for any of you here in the Sacramento area, next Fridays game is supposed to be HUGE. Its the last game before the playoffs and theyre playing against an undefeated team from Vallejo (my brothers school is a smaller division private school so the teams they play against aren't all local). The game is next Friday night, 7 pm at Oakmont High School in Roseville. if you can, wear burgundy. Its his team color. Tickets are only $6, and as an incentive there is a "50/50" raffle. Raffle tickets are $1 each and the winner gets half of the funds generated by the sale of tickets, the other half goes to pay for the teams use of Oakmonts field (again, small school... they dont have a field of their own). Tonights draw was for $114.

Seriously, come to the game next Saturday. Root for #88. Thats my baby brother. I'll have some assortment of noisemakers with me, I'm sure.

I did get a little knitting done during the game. I started "The Printers Scarf", its a simple 2x2 rib with some striping at the ends. So far, I'm not too sure about it. With the striping and the ribbing... well....... it looks a bit like an athletic sock. I may be ripping it out and starting over. Maybe a basketweave? I'm not sure.
Anyways, with all of the yelling and stomping and jumping during the game, I am TIRED tonight. I wanted to knit more on Viveka, but am just going to crash to sleep. I hope to get a lot done tomorrow, I'm supposed to have this bad girl done by the end of the month.

Also, the power charger for my laptop is fritzing out. As I was sitting here in my bed, it started sparking on me and damn near caught my quilt on fire. The cord near the doo-hickey that plugs into my laptop is melted and wires are exposed. I toyed with the idea of wrapping some electrical tape around it, but when I hold the melted parts together, it starts sparking pretty good. I guess I'll be going to Fryes or Best Buy tomorrow. Hopefully theres a non-Apple replacement. I just checked Apples website and a new charger is $80 AND all of the use reviews that are showing from the past week ALL say that theyre fire hazards and people are having to replace them after about 9 months. I guess I'm lucky that this one has lasted for well over 2 years.

I currently only have 50% battery power, so if I don't find a reasonable priced replacement tomorrow you may not hear from me for a while.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


It's hard to believe that its only 52 days until Christmas.
Despite having so much to do between now and then, I was toying with the idea of participating in NaNoWriMo. Even though its only 2 days into the month, I was already stressing because I hadn't started writing yet - I was going to be doing that tonight. I have the general concept of my storyline down - it's an idea I've been working with for a few years now. I've even started a few times and have the various beginnings on my hard drive.
However, I quickly abandoned my notebook and pencil when I found out that November is also NaKniSweMo.
Back in September I decided that I wanted to knit myself a sweater, and decided on Viveka. I even ordered the yarn - Wool of the Andes in Amber Heather as the main color and Evergreen for the contrasting trim. I've been putting it off starting it though. I couldn't justify knitting something for myself when I have a number of items that are currently in progress or need to be done for someone else:
1. The socks. Those socks that I started back in September? I powered through that first one and got it finished in a reasonable amount of time. The second one? Not so much. I've started it, but have put it down so so so many times. I'm not even to the heel yet.
2. Shawls. I have two shawls that are in the works. Both are for myself - the ones that I started and didnt finish for B&K's wedding last week. I'm going to have a few holiday parties to go to in early December and would like to have at least the one made from the Bernat Boa finished to wear to the parties.
3. Janaes afghan. In the summer I started an afghan for my youngest cousin and planned on having it finished by now so that I could put it for part of her Christmas present. Again, I've been focusing so much on other projects, that not much progress has been done on this one, although I have gotten a little bit done this past week. I WILL finish this by Christmas.
4. "Neopolitan Handbag". I've had an idea for another felted handbag in mind for a few months now and wanted to use pink, brown and cream - like neopolitan candies - but, I couldnt find the right shades for the pink and the brown. While in South Lake Tahoe for a bachelorette party 2 weeks ago, a few of us went to the ONE yarn shop in SLT where they had the PERFECT pink, brown and cream. Naturally, I bought them and have them sitting here. I have yet to start the bag.
5. "The Printers Scarf". In preparation for the launching of my ETSY shop, my friend S, who is a graphic artist, designed some business cards for me. She was also able to get them printed at no cost in exchange for a knit scarf. I bought the yarn - Plymouth Yarn Baby Alpaca Worsted - now I just need to figure out the pattern. Find a pattern that would be appropriate for a man who is very stylish, or design something of my own? I'm thinking that with everything I have on my plate as it is I should stick with an established pattern.
6. Purple and Grey Felted Bag. I started this MONTHS AND MONTHS AND MONTHS ago. I got the body completed and am working on the straps. Then, its just a matter of throwing the thing in the washer. Hopefully I'll have this finished by Christmas and will be able to gift it to someone.
So, with the enormous list of WIP's staring at me blankly, I'm going to ignore it all and start on my own sweater. i even stopped and bought myself a pair of Addi Turbos for the special occaision.

Let the knitting begin!!