Boston Independent Film Festival

March 21st, 2007

(Taking a quick break from my NYC posts)

Every year, Casey and I look forward to the film festival in Boston- this year it is taking place from April 25-30. In the past, I have gotten to see some great movies and I am sure this year will be no different.

Casey usually does most of the background work though, figuring out which movies we are interested in, looking on imdb, etc. This year, he decided he would make it easier on us and hopefully some other people by making a little website to put all of the info in once place.

So, the unofficial guide to the 2007 Boston Independent Film Festival was born. 🙂

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If you near Boston and are planning to attend, give it a shot! The festival is really worth attending- and now it will be even easier to find the movies you want to see. The schedule and theater info is not out yet but Casey will update the site once it is available.

Just looking quickly brought me to these two movies:
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Zombie sheep- what else is there to say really? haha

And Fido looks cool too- Carrie-Ann Moss anyone? Yes, please. Plus, it is produced by Crochetme/ IC Kim’s friend… cool.

Okay, I just realized both of those are about zombies… There are other non-zombie movies at the festival. hah

Any help getting the word out about Casey’s IFF Boston site would be great- thanks, guys!

Tourist. (NYC, Part 2) Finally!

March 21st, 2007

I can’t believe the week is over already- Saturday- wah?

So I still haven’t finished my NYC post and the memories are getting dim- I am going to post the it anyway because there are some cute pictures. And it was fun, so there.

After we left Purl, we went down the street and Carrie spied this super cool vintage toy shop. We both bought our boys back home these cool robots- this is what Casey’s looks like:

Casey's Robot

It winds up and walks even! I thought it was cute and he needs some fun stuff for his desk at work- it looks totally depressing.

After that, we took the train down to Seaport Yarn, where we were quickly overwhelmed by the yarn selection. It is seriously a crazy store- with this long hallway (below) with all these rooms with yarn piled from floor to ceiling. It had a ton of stuff but my OCD warning bells were going off like crazy. Carrie kept laughing at me because I kept trying to organize. haha (the rowan books falling all over the place put me over the edge- there was about $500 worth of them crunched into each other and getting smooshed. gah.)

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Carrie and I both fell in love with the Silk Garden Lite (mine is color 2017)- I think I may try to make a mini Lady Eleanor- a scarf instead of a shawl… hmmm. Dunno if 3 will be enough- I am trying to stop myself from just ordering another from them.

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We were totally thwarted on our last stop- School Products was closed at 4pm on a Saturday. (They apparently close at 3:30- WTF?)

See how they taunted us?

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After that disappointment, we consoled ourselves with some hot beverages and a trip to H&M. Then it was time to go back to the hotel to get ready for Jenn’s birthday celebration in Queens.

We went to this great Brazilian place that had incredible caipirinhas, which I think all of us enjoyed.

Here is Jenn giving some love to the awesome apron that Jackie gave her- so cute!

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Then there was some serious worshipping of the birthday mousse… there it is in Jenn’s hand.

After that, it was a long wait for the subway but we chatted and kept the time moving.

Can you spot all the knits? 🙂

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The train finally arrived and Cassie started the ball rolling by bringing out her sock. So, of course, the rest of us had to join in.

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After that, Carrie and I made it back to the hotel, with some excelled direction help from Cassie and Jackie. We had to stop and get some snackies, which we kindly shared with Casey on the phone. (combo on the phone.) We thought this was very funny. And it was, okay? 😉

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Then, we were pooped so we went to bed. And, seriously, I am still pooped. I did catch a bit of Cathy’s cold so have been coughing since about Wednesday. I think I managed to escape the worst of it by drinking and entire package of Airbourne and using those gross ZIcam nose swabs (don’t ask.)

So, all in all… It really was great fun. I will not hesitate to go to NYC again- it doesn’t seems so scary anymore. And next time, Carrie, I will try not to walk so fast. 😉

Tourist. (NYC, Part 1)

March 20th, 2007

Going to New York City always as seemed completely overwhelming to me, even growing up in New Jersey… maybe even because I grew up there.

Even now as an adult, I think of it being a dirty, huge, dangerous place because of my country girl upbringing. Every time we went into “the city” we had to be on-guard the entire time and as exciting as it was when we went in to see shows and museums, I would always go home overwhelmed in all my senses… grateful to be back in the quiet and sweet air.

Miss Carrieoke and I met up in NYC this past weekend. This trip though, after living in a fairly big city for 6 years, I saw New York with different eyes. It was exhilarating, all the people and the noise and the flashing lights.

I took the bus (cheap option this time!) from South Station to the Port Authority. Everything went smoothly and I caught up with Carrie and her sister near Times Square. (I got here all by myself! I am a big girl!)

It was totally funny seeing them together in person for the first time, standing on the sidewalk in front of the hotel. I have seen pictures of Cathy so often on Carrie’s blog that I felt like I already knew her even if we just met.

She is just as sweet as I expected and spent most of the time that I saw her in the famous Central Park Hoodie. She was so, so sick though and I felt terrible that she was stuck in the room just trying to get better. We will hang out another time, I am sure!

Carrie and I did brave the world outside, in truly yucky weather, and went to quite a few great restaurants, recommendations by Carolyn. (Carrie talks about all of them in her post so I won’t be repetitive here.)

Here I am at one of the yummy restaurants, enjoying two of my beverages. What? When I go to Malaysian restaurants I get excited about all the drink choices. Sue me. (left: coconut juice in whole coconut- cool! and middle: lychee drink)

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I made Carrie try some of the lychee out of my drink and she pretended to bite it for the picture on the right, but then didn’t actually eat it. Wimp.

(As a side note, Alan Arkin, the grandfather from Little Miss Sunshine, was sitting to my right, two tables over in those pictures above. Carrie was staring at him and he decided he needed to move tables. haha)

We got back to our tiny hotel room and set about planning for the Great Yarn Crawl of March 2007.

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We were prepared. We had maps, a guide book to NYC, recommendations from other knitters, some boots and one umbrella. We were going to DO IT.

Our first stop, was The Point. It is a great shop! I love the set up with the bins of yarn and I had fun using the grabby thing (kinda like an apple picker) to get the yarns from up high. The light in there was great and I can definitely recommend the quiche and jasmine tea. I also loved the lime green floor- my favorite color.

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I am not sure what happened there on the right, but it is too funny not to post. haha

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That’s better.

But there’s more! At the Point we met up with a few knitters: Michelle, Jackie, Cassie, Jenn, Valentina, and Mindy. Everyone was super nice and welcoming and even invited us to Jenn’s birthday celebration the next night.

I was sad that I we didn’t get to come back to the shop later on to meet the Spiders but at that point we were oh so wet and tired. (Not sure if you can do that kind of thing- just drop in- but I have been talking to some of them so maybe they wouldn’t throw me out. haha They like being all mysterious and exclusive methinks.)

Anyway, after that we walked in the slush and sleet to Purl and Purl Patchwork. It is a lovely store. So cute and nicely arranged. They were having a trunk show for Knit 2 Together and it was super cool to see all the knitted items from that book.

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Look at all that Koigu!

I also met Joelle Hoverson and may have accidently insulted her by saying that the chevron scarf curls- oops. I didn’t realize who it was at the time and am not normally so rude. I am a complete idiot and get more and more embarrassed the more I think about the stuff I said. Carrie must have thought I was a moron but didn’t mention that she was the owner until we left. Oh well, it happens. 😉

Here is my loot from Purl, a lovely fabric cake I forget what it is called) and a pretty bag from Lantern Moon. I also got the lovely skein of Koigu to pair with some that I have at home, for some Endpaper Mitts.

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Well, I am throwing in the towel on this post. It is long enough… I will come back and write the second part.

toodles!

Away too long!

March 12th, 2007

Gosh, I don’t know what happened here, last week got away from me. It is not that I didn’t have anything to post about even… I swear there is a time warp going on in this apartment! Not enough time in the day and Daylight Savings doesn’t help matters either.

Early last week, Bob had a visitor. It is Dolly from next door again– her mommy had to go down to NJ so we had a boarder for a couple days. Bob looooved it- the two of them get along so well.

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Me, I didn’t enjoy the visit so much. Let’s just say that there was some sort of stomach bug going around and I spent the whole time cleaning up after one or the other. (dab up, take dog out, mop floor… repeat repeat)

It made it a bit hectic finishing up my last couple swatches for Jackie‘s book. I had the hardest time, not with the cables, but with a SHOULD BE simple seed stitch diamond pattern (bottom right). I think I questioned my intelligence more than once during those couple days!

They are done and to Jackie now though- whew!

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After I finished blocking the swatches, I was so happy to knit on something else… something more fun than squares! (Not that I am complaining, happy to do it.)

Introducing… my very own Forecast!

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I have been wanting to cast on for this ever since I saw Winnie’s (often cited!) adjustments of Stefanie’s pattern.

I finally got the yarn as a christmas present from my parents- isn’t it gorgeous? I love the yarn too- a little scratchy but I wanted something with a bit more meat to it than some soft merino. It is Plymouth Tweed- kpixie has a more accurate color picture on their site. (It is more like my forecast pic than the yarn pic.)

I posted this picture over on Jessica’s (kerflop) flickr group, honest photography. I just had to take it when I finally found Bob after he was missing for a while the other day. He was happy as a clam, in a nest of clothes.

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Casey and I constantly struggle over keeping our walk-in closet tidy. Even after we got the closet system from Ikea, mysteriously a huge pile accumulates on the floor. (Those nasty closet gnomes- coming in here and throwing the clothes on the floor!)

We did have to clean it up though because my parents came into town for a visit. It was a nice one- very low key and I certainly appreciated that. We had a couple nice meals out and I thought again how nice it is to be able to host them in our own home.

We did a lot of knitting together- my mom, Kyle’s girlfriend Erica and I. It was fun! My mom and I were working on the chemo cap and scarf for my brother’s friend that I was asking about the other day. (I will post about that project later.)

I only took one picture though- here’s my mom as we made breakfast together: cuteness!

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I also came clean to my parents about this here blog this weekend- as I discussed before, I never got around to telling them about this site and it always felt wrong. It went as well as expected- they seemed a bit sad about it but we will work through it, I am sure. (hi, mom and dad!)

Well, Casey and I better go to bed. Our schedule has been crazy for the last few months while we are working on this project together. Here is an example of how much Casey is juggling:

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Lots of windows open! Gives me a headache just thinking about it. Here’s hoping it all works out to be worthwhile. 🙂

Fussy Bucket

March 5th, 2007

I have been seriously hormonal the past couple days- like crying at the drop of a hat hormonal. It pisses me off. I am like a bipolar patient: one minute laughing hysterically and the next crying.

Casey and I have been working on this huge project together also and we have not been doing very much fun stuff lately- spending all of our free time working together. Which is fine, temporarily, but we sure needed our vacation last week to get recharged.

Maybe some silly sunshine will help you if you are also feeling a bit like a fussy bucket this monday morning? 😉

We went to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for one of those drink, eat and sit on your ass vacations. (Gee, wonder why I gained 5lb? hmm… Mysterious.)

But first, we had to fly there. Me no likey fly in airplanes. So, I self-medicated. 😉

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It was worth it though- look at those beautiful mountains! And the blue sky! (Project Spectrum, does this count? I have never done PS before- haha)

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Well, the extra poundage could have something to do with all the margaritas, pina coladas and GUACAMOLE. I think I ate my weight in guacamole. SO GOOD.

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The hotel, Velas Vallarta, was really nice, definitely the best all-inclusive place I have ever been. The food, as I mentioned, was excellent. They had good booze, not that no-label stuff and they have waiters that deliver food to you while you were sitting by the pool or at the beach. They also brought you frozen grapes hand towels at the end of the day- so nice!

So what did I do sitting by the pool being waited on? Knit of course!

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I knit and read, read just, and then knit and listened to podcasts. (love the podcasts!) Also, two clothespins are great for securing books so you can read and knit at the same time. Don’t ever tell me I never had anything useful on this blog. 😉

So what did I knit? The Melody’s Shawl from Morehouse Merino that I bought at Rhinebeck, of course! It was a great vacation project because you don’t have to think and it scrunches up super small in a carry on.

I knit so much that I actually finished it. There she is, all done!

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At the end of the pattern, you bind off all the stitches, except for the 16 stitches in between the two twisted stitches. Then you rip out those stitches! RIIIP!

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It was completely terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. The stitches stay- with no problem whatsoever… very cool. (I guess for the same reason that the twisted stitches secure the dropped ones in clapotis, now that I think about it.)
I was so excited I started flapping it around but none of the other vacationers were that interested. I even showed Casey’s sisters and mom but their reception was lukewarm- where are my knitting buddies when I need them? haha

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Casey’s family was a little more enthusiastic when I wore it that evening to dinner. It was wonderful to wear down there in the air conditioning at dinner but not too bulky for the heat either. I have also been wearing it here as a scarf and it is super warm too. Horray!

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So despite the 4 plane rides, it was a great vacation… wish I was back in that sunshine with my sweetie!

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Spa Revisited

March 1st, 2007

Spa was ages and ages ago now but I was not able to finish my post about it before vacation. I am sad about that so I am just pretending that it was last week instead. Way back machine- wee!

(As a side note, you know you are one of those crazy blogger types when there are 2 cars full of your in-laws downstairs waiting for you to go catch a flight and you are yelling to your husband to have them wait a second because your post is uploading. Ahem.)

Anyway, where where we?

So, we had this room in the Hampton Inn that Kelle (the wonder that she is) finagled for us with the management. It was a room totally for spinning. No beds, nothing but chairs and lamps (and booze and food).

We all sat in there talking about various important subjects like infant circumcision, my hatred for The Big Lebowski (I still don’t think the rest of the Boston group has forgiven this flaw in my character- hehe), lots of fiber and spinning talk, and the general geographic location of the Upper Peninsula in relation to the rest of Michigan.

We realized halfway through the latter discussion when, I think, Kellee (again with the brilliance) pointed out that Maya was wearing the perfect demonstration tool: her ‘Michigan: America’s High Five’ t-shirt. Also, knitting needle? Great pointer.

(Kellee, Elisa, Debbie, Maya and Jackie)

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But what did I buy? Oh, what didn’t I buy….

As I mentioned, Amy Boogie weaves a wicked spell. I accidently went to her booth about 10 times and some of her stuff just jumped on me. It wasn’t my fault. (I am so pissed that I didn’t get a picture one of those ten times because she has the coolest handpainted hair too. Super cool.)

So first up is some Corriedale in her Autumn colorway. Laurie showed me the wonders of pre-drafting… it is an art, is it not? I have done some half-hearted pre-drafting up until this point but now I am a total convert. You must click to see the squishy!

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I think this is destined to be a Spring Cap– if I can somehow figure out how to make a big happy yarn out of my singles. Maybe a 4 ply shoe box lazy kate? hmmm.

More Amy goodies: left and second from the top is her Skinny Socks (handpainted superwash merino) in Aztec, right and top is the same yarn in the Chocolate Covered Cherries colorway. The two free mini skeins (yay!) on the bottom are fabulous too but the colorways are not marked.
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Then, more of Amy’s fiber: Blue-Faced Leicester in Neopolitan on left and more Corriedale in the middle, Vineyard colorway
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I forget where the left came from- don’t have a tag. It is a mohair blend though. And the right one! Oh my goodness, it is unbelievable… so soft. Indigo Moon Farm’s Camel and Silk.

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I think this picture wraps it up very nicely- Spa yay!

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Amy Boogie exploded all over me

February 19th, 2007

or, alternate title: Spa, Knit and Spin 2007

It is 3:30 in the morning on Monday and I am up because we are flying to Mexico today- wee! but I couldn’t get on the plane without a quick Spa post…

I had such a wonderful time- spun, knit and met some super nice people. I don’t have time to take pictures of all my loot (like I said in the title, I really do have an Amy Boogie problem… I may not be able to capture it in one photo) but I will do it when I get back.

I was so overwhelmed that I completely forgot to take pictures actually AT the event, but we made our own mini- Spa at the Hampton Inn.

There was much loving of fiber going on. I don’t know whose idea it was to put it on their heads but it is pretty funny. Stitchy, Elisa and Jackie

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crap, ran out of time- see ya in a week!

Help! They are taking over the ship!

February 14th, 2007

Tribbles

hehe TRIBBLES!

Casey thought of it, not me… and it is his fabulous photoshopping handiwork above. (Is that a verb now, even if you don’t use that program?)

That is the first thing he thought of when he saw my photo display, below. 🙂
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They are, of course, the hats my mom knit for Children’s Hospital- 11 of them!! Not bad for a weeks work- she says she even has a couple more to send me… go frecklemom! 🙂 I only have 4 done but our package will look pretty happy going to Mini thanks to mom.

We had a modest V-day celebration today. I know it is like *soooo not* cool to like Valentine’s Day but around here we like it. Mostly because it is an opportunity to eat yummy food (Finale desserts below) and give each other our homemade valentines- a tradition. I think I will try to rustle up some valentines of years past because they are pretty funny.

This year, Casey gave me 5 separate valentines each starting with “Jessica is…” He wrote a little something in each card, with little drawings too. 🙂 (I won’t list them but you can see it if you click on the picture, you nosy. hehe)

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My valentine was a kinda crappy little knitted heart. I had envisioned it being a bit more impressive. Casey, of course, said he liked it.

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ohmygosh, ohmygosh! SPA in 1 day!

Any ideas? and Maryland

February 12th, 2007

I am in the market for a soft and warm guy-friendly yarn for a hat & scarf project.

My mom and I are going to knit the set for a friend of my brother’s who is in his mid-twenties and was just diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. He has never smoked a day in his life.

I have known him for a couple years and, seriously, he is one of the nicest guys… always smiling and making jokes. So sad. I just want to do something so… what do I do? Knit.

Anyway, any ideas? Something tweedy maybe? He lives out in Colorado so something warm but not scratchy as he is starting treatment soon.

In more positive news, Casey, Maya and I have booked our flights to go to Maryland Sheep and Wool. yaay!

I can’t wait- anyone else going to go this year?

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I am also looking forward to SPA this weekend and next week we are going to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. So much to do before the end of the week!

Way Back Machine

February 9th, 2007

My mother used to tell us stories of her childhood in northern Maine. To my brother and I, even in very rural north/ western New Jersey, it sounded so exotic. Walking off the top of the chicken coop into a snow bank that was above their heads… walking to school in sub-zero temperatures… and potato picking for school clothes money.

We thought it sounded awful, everyone sweating in the hot sun- just to have money to buy school clothes. How sheltered and spoiled we were, I know, thinking that my grandparents were not very nice making kids buy clothes. What kid wants to buy clothes with their money?

It was a different time though and my grandparents had 6 girls to raise on one salary… they were lucky to have the work to get new school clothes.

My mother’s sister loves finding little gems about Maine, anything about Maine, now that she lives down in Florida and I often find emails in my inbox containing forwards of “how you know you are a mainer”, pictures of moose and sometimes some really neat old photographs.

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This is the note my aunt sent with the picture, “We picked potatoes every fall, school would close down for at least three weeks. The last I remember we would get .25 cents a barrel. We had sections and picked from one barrel to another, so you can tell by looking at the picture the size of the basket by where the barrels are placed. It was a hard job but we earned enough money to buy our school clothes doing it.”

I still feel guilty buying Idaho potatoes at the store and can hear my mother in my head, “What do you mean they don’t have Maine potatoes?”

Anyway, I thought that was kinda neat.

I was tagged by Betsy to tell my secrets. I don’t know if I have any big secrets but I did my best, for this late at night. yawwn.

1. Speaking of, I am crazy about my going to bed ritual… I am an insomniac and therefore need to have the blankets and sheets perfectly organized, and the temperature and lighting *just right* in order for me to go to sleep. The blanket organization thing causes some discussion between Casey and I because he would be happy to make a big pile of blankets and then just lie tangled in them. (um, nightmare!)

2. I have only kissed 2 boys in my life. I know, what a loser. 😉 The second did such a good job, I married him.

3. I have lots of unfinished knitting that I don’t post about on here. I may have an opportunity to come clean soon but… I admit it. I am (also) a yarn harlot.

4. I guess this blog is kind of a secret. I have started feeling super guilty about not telling my parents about this site. At the beginning, I thought it would be bad if I wrote about something that was upsetting me and it would worry them until they got in touch with me. Now though, I use this space very differently than I did when I first started blogging… but how do you say, oh by the way, I have been writing on this site for three years. Sorry I never told you. eeeek.

5. I have double jointed shoulders and hips- it comes in handy when doing yoga although I was very embarrassed today when my teacher friend did a demonstration showing the whole class what a freak I am. “Just bend over, Jessica… see how her hands almost touch the floor?”

My grandmother used to freak out when, as a little girl, I would put my legs behind my head and walk around on my hands. Ahh, I was a class act from the very beginning. hehe