Wednesday, December 05, 2012

My New Blog...................

Ok here's the address for the new blog...bye bye Blogger.  I would have liked to stay with Blogger as everyone is familiar with my blog name etc. but for whatever reason, the new format is not user friendly. I hope you enjoy "Marj's Musings"

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Blogger is SHIT

Blogger has changed their format, I can no longer post, move pictures etc. without having a HTML coding background, it randomly changes my font.  Altogether, complete shit. I will either give up on blogging or try to find another service.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Places to go and people to see....

 I have been a busy gal of late.  I have enjoyed 3 mini get aways since last I posted. Unfortunately all good things must come to an end and I don't have any time away from work planned until the end of the summer.  I definitely need to plan more short trips away.  It's amazing what a change of scenery can do for your attitude.   However vacation time has it's own stresses, rarely do things go exactly as planned, but all in all it was 90% positive.  

Antler cozy
My first mini-trip was to "Knitopia", a knitting retreat that happens annually in Lexington MI.  Tina really out does herself every year.  I don't know how she manages to organize the whole thing.  I spent 4 days, hanging out at the house (it's huge), took a walk on the beach, knitted, spun, made new friends and re-connected with some peeps that I knew from 2 years ago.  Of course some of my local girls were there, Lynne, Angela and Amy.   My only downside to this little jaunt was that I literally started to come down with a cold/sinus infection on the drive up there.  My nose started tingling and I just knew what was coming.  I was a snotty mess the whole time that I was up there.  Everyone was very kind, one of the gals gave me a box of Puffs and Lynne picked up some Nyquil for me on one of her runs in to Port Huron.  The highlight of the trip was a "field trip" to a local alpaca farm.  They had 9 alpacas of various colors.  They were so cute and there was one that loved giving "kisses" to everyone.  My big score was a pound of alpaca roving for $25!  A steal of a deal.   I managed to finish one of my charity shawls that I was working on for Kim and Chris' lymphoma gigs.  I also learned how to seam with a slip stitch from Lynne and honed my dying skills with Coggie. I also designed and executed an "antler cozy".   As usual there was lots of great food and cocktails, kudos to Angela for making the "Bobby Flay" Margaritas

Tiff, Gus and yours truly
My next mini trip was to see my niece Tiffany graduate from nursing school in Tennessee.  I did the 8 hour drive all in one day.  I started out early and got there about 3ish.  I was trying to surprise Tiff so I had to coordinate everything with her mom, Gus, who'd flown down from Michigan the same day and Tiffany's s/o, Matt.  I was waiting at the Starbucks next to the hotel when Gus texted me and said that they'd arrived.  I went over and knocked on the door and said "housekeeping".   I heard Tiff inside saying "If it's housekeeping, they've got a key",  Gus told her "Just get the door".   Tiff opened the door and saw me, her eye's were HUGE, she looked at me and said "NO SHIT!!"   My ruse worked.  The graduation ceremony was really nice, I'm glad I got to see her walk and receive her diploma.  I didn't make the pinning ceremony as I wasn't feeling very well.  I think between not eating/sleeping and some very sweet wine the night before my stomach was not happy.  I can't handle sugar + alcohol, makes me barfy every time.  There was a graduation party afterwards with some of Tiff's extended family at Matt's dad's house.  Tiff's cousin Casey picked me up at the hotel and we all rode over there together.  Which brings to mind....Tennessee is a different world, come to think of it, any time you travel south of Cincinnati, things are a little different.  For starters, it seems that there are a lot of really large pick up trucks, and everyone has access to a firearm.  Brings to mind my days of living in Houston.  The rest of the weekend was pretty uneventful.  I spent Sunday AM with Tiff, we went to breakfast and then did a little shopping.  As with all family events there's a certain amount of stress issues.  I'm not going to lie, there were moments, but all in all I'm glad that I went and supported Tiff.   

My 198 Yards of Heaven
My third and final vaca was to go to Columbus for Rock on the Range.  I went a couple of years ago and had a really great time so I planned for my stay for 4 days.  Rock on the Range was a 3 day event this year but I only bought a one day ticket because all of the bands that I wanted to see were playing on Sunday, the closing day.   I had Singaporian food the first night I was there. I would say it was a blend between Thai and Vietnamese.  I would assume the place was very authentic based on the Asian population present in the restaurant. The next day I had planned to spend the day in German Town, hanging out at the book store, having lunch etc.  I drove down there only to find that they were having a HUGE garage sale and the place was absolutely packed.  Needless to say I had to park several blocks away and navigate through some pretty heavy crowd traffic to get where I was going.  I spent a few hours at The Book Loft and then had lunch at the original Max and Erma's.  Afterwards I spent a relaxing afternoon walking around the neighborhood and knitting in Schiller Park.   The next day was ROTR!  I was really looking forward to seeing some new bands and some acts that I was familiar with.  There was no way I was going to have breakfast at the hotel, I did that the day before and it tasted exactly like the food in the cafeteria at work; hospital food.  So I went to the Beechwold diner for sustenance to get me through a long day.  The "new" bands that impressed me, Aranda, Black Stone Cherry, Mastadon, Lacuna Coil and James Durbin.  The latter whom I knew nothing about.  He looked like this geeky little Bieber kid with leathers on.  He said he was going to sing "Rainbow in the Dark" as a tribute to Dio.  All I could think is "yeah right", I was sure it was going to be awful.  As he started to sing, I looked around and saw everyone's jaw, drop ever so slightly.  He nailed it, spot on, really impressive.  The bands that did not impress me; Escape the Fate, this was my second time seeing them and still not impressed.  Redlight King did not impress, Megadeth sucked, and the least inspired performance...Marilyn Manson.  I had really been looking forward to seeing Manson and I was pretty disappointed.  He was bitching about getting a tepid response from the audience but I think that the performance warranted it.  Who totally brought it? Rob Zombie of course and Anthrax.  Anthrax played as if their life depended on it and Scott Ian shredded like a little bald madman.  I left about three quarters of the way through Zombie's set.  I'd seen him 2 years ago and he's already played the songs I wanted to hear.  I had wanted to beat the majority of the traffic so back to the hotel.   The next day I got up, packed up and stuffed everything in the car for the trip home, but first, I had a mission.  Whenever I tell someone I'm going to Columbus they inevitably say, "go to Jeni's Ice Cream".  I made it a point to head to the North Market where I had a delicious breakfast of Mediterranean vegetable stew and then it was time for desert.  All I can say is if you're ever in Columbus, "go to Jeni's Ice Cream".  I had the Riesling Poached Pear Sorbet, and the Juniper Lemon Curd ice cream.  It's like a party in your mouth. Then it was back home to find Mr. Larj right where I left him on the couch.  He's been on the couch for 9 days and cant figure out where his energy has gone.  

800 Yards!
Knitting, actually I've been doing lots of fibery stuff.  I finished my 198 Yards of Heaven when I went to Knoxville.  I like the way it turned out, I used all hand spun in dark green with a coppery brown border.  I'm currently working on a Chudnovsky Pi shawlette using my hand spun slubby brown.  I'm spindle spinning and plying a lot of my little bits of sample stuff to make a Boneyard shawl with a mix of colors.  My pal Coley did this and it turned out really great.  I finally finished plying the blue lace/light fingering weight that I have been working on for-ev-er.  I just counted 800 yards!!!! Woo, what to make?  

Other going's on?  Pretty status quo other than Mr. Larj's never ending illness.  I've tried to give my opinion but of course, I don't know anything so sick.   Maude is Maude and Chief is about the same.   I've really enjoyed my time off work and it's going to be hard to go back to the grind tomorrow.  Life carries on....


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Frogging my way through life.............

It's true it seems that I make some progress....only to rip it back and have to start over. Not just with knitting but, with everything lately. Maybe it's this whole 5-0 thing weighing heavily on my mind. Aren't I supposed to be more accomplished and satisfied with my life at this point? Why do I continually seem to re-hash the same issues over and over again. I think that life is like a race, unless you get off to a good start, chances are you're going to be lagging behind and always under the gun to catch up.

What's new? I have been to a couple of concerts lately, I went to see "The Darkness". I saw them the first time they toured I think in 03'. They're a very fun band if you haven't seen them live. They really rocked the house and the opening band "Foxy Shazam" was really amazing and entertaining. I got to fist bump Justin as he was carried through the crowd on one of the security guys shoulders. A nice little perk given that I had to move out of my prime spot up front. There was a little too much "young and drunk" going on and people were being ridiculous with pushing and basically acting like idiots. Both bands are going to be at ROTR thi
s year but on different days. Grrr...
The Big E and I also went to see the DSO perform a Sci-Fi theme music concert. It was amazing! I have to confess that was the first time I'd seen the symp
hony perform. George Takei was also a part of the performance, he did an introduction to the Star Trek theme where he talked about the creative process involved with the show and the development of the different characters. He also did a reading of the "Klaatu" speech from "The Day the Earth Stood Still", one of my all time favorite movies. I was overall really impressed with the performance and there were quite a few people who were dressed in character as Star Trek extras and Klingons!
I also went to see Henry Rollins do his spoken word at the Michigan T
heater in Ann Arbor. What can I's Hank, of course it was amazing. He did his usual 2.5 hour diatribe on, well pretty much everything. I wish my mind worked like his..or maybe not, he's pretty intense. My friend Amy who invited me to go with her had seen him 6 or 7 times and had never stalked him. I found this to be completely unacceptable and made it a point to find out where the tour bus was parked at before the show. Afterwards we made our way over. There were about maybe 50 people waiting for Hank to come out. He graciously signed autographs, took pics and chatted with everyone. Let me tell you..when Hank looks you in they eyes, he really looks you in the eyes. More than anything though I was so happy to get a wonderful pic of Amy with Hank's arm around her. She looks elated! We both got autographs and a "See you next time". :-)

As for knitting...I pretty much suck. About the only thing that I have started and compl
eted is the "Zuzu's petals" cowl. Other than that, there's been a lot of false starts, frogging and relegating UFO's to the bottom of my knitting basket. I have been doing a little spinning. I used some of the Shetland that my pal Jim gave me and spun it up in to a nice sport weight with a fair amount of yardage. The only question is..what color do I want to make it? I am also still working on the lace weight "Blueberry" from Yarn Hollow. It's going to be gorgeous when it's done. So I guess you can spin lace weight on a Kiwi.

Things on the horizon? Well, mid-April I have a knitting get away with friends in Lexington. I did this a couple of years ago and it was a lot of fun. I am also doing one day at ROTR at the end of May. I was looking at spending more time there but all of the bands that I want to see with the exception of Foxy Shazam are all on that day. I can't wait to see Anthrax and Manson!! Other than that life is status quo...going forward and frogging back.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Now What?

I don't ordinarily put much stock in "deadlines", new day, new week new year. It's all just a long rolling scroll of life. The new year however, does bring a time of reflection and the promise of change and new beginnings. I've given pause to look back and review the events of the passing year. 2011 started out well for me. I was able to see Apocalyptica three times in March and reconnect with my niece Tiffany. I had some pretty chronic health problems and some near misses during the summer months. Thankfully, they resolved and are under control at this time. The rest of the year was pretty low key. The last concert I hit was the Uproar Fest in September. I think I've been in a mild funk ever since, there were a couple of events that I wanted to go to but I blew them off because there are times when I'm simply tired of going to events by myself all of the time. It gets old, but the bottom line is that..I'd better get used to it. Things are never going to change, it is what it is. It's as if I live in some weird state of purgatory for lack of a better description.

As for knitting and spinning of course spinning has been in the lead. I have done some "utility knitting" lately. I am working on some leg warmers, very basic 2x2 rib, size 8 needle, 48 cast on. I am making them in anticipation of the cold and bit
ter weather that is eventually going to hit. I don't want to jinx myself but thus far the winter has been pretty mild, mid 30's to 40's on some days and no s-n-o-w. I've been spinning on my Trindles quite a bit. I've even gifted myself another pair of arms and a fancy shaft! The new arms spin somewhere between a worsted and sport weight. Still plucking away on the lovely blue-ish lace weight on my wheel. I switch my bobbins between that an a really basic worsted. I can only spin lace weight for so long, then my eyes and fingers start to cross. I also broke my own rules this year and knitted an X-mas prezzie. I made a Star Wars hat for my friend Billy, an action hero uber geek. I bit the bullet and decided a week before X-mas to start this project. I can't believe I finished it in time including blocking. Color work is not really my favorite knitting and using 3 colors was a real challenge but his reaction made it all worth it. I used the charts from Rav and "babzer's" project notes. I love it when someone else does the math! I alternated between the Storm Trooper and R2D2 motif's and worked a "May the force be with you" band at the bottom. Next on my knitting list will be more utility knitting as my Fibertrends felted clogs just blew through the heel. Note to self and others, double strand worsted, don't use single strand bulky. NOT the same as far as wear.

As far as other going's on. I'm still doing Kettlebell classes. I have to keep this old body moving, Cod knows I'll never be able to retire. I am looking to take some of the free classes offered this week to get a jump start back in to my routine. I do have one concert on the books. I'm going to see "the Darkness" on Feb 10th! This was probably the first band that got me started going to concerts again after deciding that I probably needed to live my own life. I was really surprised when Laythe let me know that they were touring again. They're very tongue in cheek and FUN. I could use a little more fun right now. How about you?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Fall Back....

Would love to give a nice cohesive, interesting post but, I just don't think it's going to happen today. It's been a long time since I've updated my blog and I'm not sure if it's a good thing that I don't have much to say or not. I have overcome a lot of the health problems that I was having as of my last post. It seems that the doc was right and it was acid reflux causing a lot of my problems. Apparently it's a lot wider spread problem because it seems that everyone that I talk to has had a bout of it or is suffering from it daily. Of course my doc put my on a prescription medication which I took until my symptoms were under control, at that point I started looking around for something a little more natural. I had seen a lot on the internet about apple cider vinegar helping. I don't usually put much stock in to a lot of alternative therapies, it seems that most alternative sites offer a lot of information without a lot of valid studies to back it up. I felt that trying ACV as an alternative would be fairly innocuous and probably wouldn't do any real damage if it didn't work. I've been using it for the last 2 months, so far so good. I have a glass with a tablespoon in the AM and then before I go to bed. I have little flare up's when I eat too late at night but other than that, I've been OK.

As for knitting and spinning, it seems that I've been doing a lot more on the spinning side. I finally finished a cowl th
at I started last month. I needed to complete something. I used the last of my hand spun green goodness that I used for my loop scarf. I like the pattern I think I like more of a twisty cowl so that I can tighten it around my neck. As for spinning, I've been doing a LOT, I seriously can't remember everything that I've been spinning since my last post. A couple of things pop out. Some nice black and red angora blend with sparkles, a BFL alpaca blend in a heathered twist. I also started the "Bandana cowl" with a bit of spindle spun that I dyed purple. It turned out sort of variegated with nice color splashes. I ran short right at the upper purl ridge cuff, I dyed some more today and I think I got pretty close, if not, it's OK to have a contrasting cuff.

Personal stuff, my car needed major work this week, drive shaft, wheel bearings, U joints. Not a cheap repair but at least I have mechanics that I trust to do the job right and for a fair price. Still taking the Kettlebell class. I added a core strengthening class for the last 6 weeks but they decided not to run it again and I think that for now once a week with doing a little bit at home here and there will work out better for me right now. No concerts coming up at this point, Uproar Fest in September was awesome, I was so glad to finally see A7X. They rocked it as did all of the other bands. Family and dog is status quo. Nothing else really changes, but like I said, maybe that's a good thing. Hope everyone is doing well out there in cyber land and life is treating you well.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

When life gives you lemons, things turn sour....

It's been a while since my last update and as you might guess by the title of this post, things have not been going smoothly. After the last Apo gig, I got knocked back by a pretty serious upper respiratory infection. It lasted about 2 weeks, my thinking was that the gigs and the pace that I'd been keeping up finally caught up to me and knocked me on my butt. I was fine for a while then, the day before Memorial day, I started with a sore throat, I thought I'd hit the urgent care so that I could fend it off before it got really entrenched in my system. So much for that theory, I got really really sick with another upper respiratory infection. I was in bed for 3 days and then ended up with a lingering cough that lasted for the next 5 weeks. Then I got hit again, it was my 3 day weekend and I was really looking forward to it. I work up with a little bit of a sore throat but I just thought that it was allergies. Wrong....I got hit again. This was getting a little old. I kept coughing afterward but couldn't bring anything up and my energy level ways completely tapped out. Finally after much prompting from friends and co-workers, I went back to the doctor. I told him what was going on and he asked me some questions. Finally he said..."I think it's acid reflux". He must have seen the look on my face so he said "let me tell you why". His thinking is that because of the chronic irritation to my esophagus, I was having larynx and pharynx irritation that was turning in to a secondary infection, hence the repeated upper respiratory infections. He wrote me a script for some Pepcid and told me to watch what I ate and drank, especially late at night. I started on the Pepcid about 4 days ago and the coughing has subsided drastically and I feel a little more like my old self. I'm hoping that he's on the right track and so am I. All this an a minor surgical procedure at the end of June has really knocked me for a loop. I haven't felt like myself for a long time and I am more than ready to have my life back and my summer, what's left of it.

I actually had a real weekend th
is last weekend. On Saturday I went to the Wine and Wool fest at the Sandhill Crane Vineyard. It was a really hot day but the sun was shining and I was happy to see my knitter girls that I haven't seen in forever. We hung out, drank wine and looked at all the goodies that the vendors had to offer. I only bought two batts. I was really behaving myself. When it came to the wine I tried probably about 10 different kinds including an ice wine. I bought 3 different white wines and 2 bottles of mead. I was also feeling well enough to make my Saturday AM kettlebell and Monday AM pilates class. I don't think I've done that in a couple of months.

As for anything fibery related, I have b
een doing a little spinning both on my trindle and my wheel. I finished spinning the wool Samoyed mix and I'm ready to ply it at some point. I also spun up one of the batts that I got at last year's W&W fest and plied it with a really nice earthy brown BFL. It turned out really organic and slubby. Luckily I found just the right pattern for it, I think it'll turn out really cool. As for knitting I finished my really ugly "at work socks", the yarn that I used was really not my favorite. The colors were really great but the yarn was splitty and not very hand friendly. I think I'm going to "donate" whatever I have left over. I'm really sort of sick of looking at it. Besides I have more than enough of finger friendly sock yarn to keep me going for quite some time. Currently working on another pair of River Rapids socks using Knit Picks Risata. I have NO idea why they discontinued this yarn. I'm also still picking away at the never ending shrug and the Egyptian mittens.

As for anything personal, work is work. There have been some changes over the last year or so that have all of us sort of looking over our shoulder. It seems like there are things that are being put in place and we really have no idea as to what they are or where they are going to end up. I am just glad to be working in a field that I still enjoy with co-workers I still enjoy working with. Mr. Larj is status quo, he cancelled his War-crack account only to start up again. Meh...I'm not even going to try to compete with his pseudo-world. Maud
e is doing OK, her eyesight is getting worse but she still plugs away and is still pretty independent. Apparently Harry came in the mail to my sister and I'm going to have to try and get with her to get my "portion" of the ashes. She'd mentioned doing some other things with his ashes but I just want a little something for myself. Chief is getting old, really old for a Dal, he's 12. Like most old people he's having his fair share of health problems, his arthritis is getting pretty bad in his hips and he's having a hard time with holding his bowels. Usually at least once a week I'm awakened in the middle of the night to an "accident" that I have to deal with. It's stressful but...he's my boy.

Well that's about all new for now. There aren't any Apo concerts in the works but I see that Amon Armarth is going to be coming to St. Andrews Hall in a couple of weeks and Avenged Sevenfold will be at DTE in September. Might try to catch those. Everyone take care and stay healthy.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

.....and then I rocked AGAIN

Call me obsessive, call me crazy...yeah I know. I am an Apoholic.

After I got back from my 2 shows in Flint and London I was FBing with my niece Tiffany. I told her that Apocalyptica was going to be playing at a club in Knoxville where she lives and that she should go with her boyfriend and check them out. I got a message back almost immediately..."are you c
oming down? I'll get tickets, I'll get your room ready". Well really...what could I do, I had to go. So I fanagled a Monday off of work and set about getting ready to go back on the road. I left Saturday after work, drove to Cincinnati that afternoon and evening, got up the next morning and drove the rest of the way to Knoxville. I met up with Tiff, we were so happy to see each other and really really psyched for the concert that night. After all it was going to be Tiff's first time and I promised her that she'd get to meet the band afterward. We left out early to the venue with Tiff and her BF Matt. I explained that we had to get there early because we were going to be right UP front. So we got there positioned right on the rail, actually there was space for one and Tiff sort of shoved me right up front and center. She's a firecracker that one ;-) There were a couple of opening bands and then Apocalyptica came on. It was an amazing show as usual and the crowd was really really in to it. I was so glad to see that because at first it seemed like the crowd was going to be kind of small and laid back. As the crowd got more in to the show so did the band so they really seemed to be enjoying their performance. It didn't take long in to the show for me to get spotted....Paavo lowered his eyes and gave me "the look". Tiffany was standing right behind me so she started pulling on my hair and saying "Aunt Marji he SAW you!". Paavo kept being really flirty with us all during the show even planting his cello right in front of us and doing a little hip shake. At the end of the show they played "I don't care" and I grabbed Tiff and pulled her right up next to me. Paavo seemed to be playing right to us and he even yelled something at us from the stage but I couldn't hear what he said. After the show was over Tiff was really going on about what a great show it was and how amazed she was by their musicianship and how they turned cellos in to a completely different instrument. We got matching hoodies and Tiff bought a CD to get signed by the band. Tiff and I stayed to wait for the band and Matt left for home. It didn't take long for the guys to come out. Mikko and Perttu were the first, I got some really nice shots of us with them that Kelli from NC graciously took. Mikko signed the shirt that I neglected to have him sign in Flint. Then Eicca came out and we got more great shots and hugs. Of course..we know who was last, Paavo. He was across the street and some fans had walked over to talk to him so Tiff and I did the same. He finally came over to us and said while pointing at Tiff, "Is this your very good friend? I said "No, this is my niece and this is her first Apocalypitca show". He got a look on his face walked right up to her and said "Hi,...I'm Paavo". He then got down on one knee and kissed her hand. I think her feet came up off the ground about a foot and I'm not really sure that they've touched ground since. ;-) We chatted for a couple of minutes. Got a couple of shots with him and Paavo hugs of course then we headed back to Matt's mom's house for the night. I got up the next day and hung out with Tiff for an hour or so and then hit the road again for the 8 hour drive home. It was amazing it was incredibly fun and I've created another rabid Apo fan...and Tiff let me know the other day that Apocalyptica is playing again in TN mid May. Am I going?........................

As for knitting stuff, very sloooowww going on the Retro Redux shrug. It's endless rows of yo K2tog and then yo P2tog on the wrong side. I know it's going to be cute when it's done but blurrrgghh. Then it'll be picking up stitches and K2 P2 ribbing for the border. I also started a pair of fingerless mitts out of my spindle s
pun hand dyed I don't think I'll have enough for both mitts so I'm spinning more and I'll have to try and match or possibly over dye to get a matching set. That's ok, it's all in good fiber fun. I'm dying to start something lace, a shawl or cowl or something and I've got my eye on a couple of "instant gratification projects as well. Any suggestions?

Personal stuff...I'm just getting over a case of killer cooties and now Mr. Larj is suffering from the same crud. Maude is up for driver re-examination, I don't really think she's going to pass this time. I guess that means that I'll have to up my child-parent responsibilities. Ergh. Hopefully the warm weather will be here shortly!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I came I saw....I Rocked!

I fed my obsession this last week with 2 Apocalyptica shows in a row! One on Tuesday night and one on Wednesday. It was amazing as usual and the band rocked harder than ever. I started out my 2 day excursion by hooking up with Michelle from Wisconsin. We had an early dinner and then headed to the show. We had VIP tickets so we got there early for the meet and greet. I had knitted items for the guys along with a six pack of "Siren" beer for Mikko (Siren is his last name). The meet and greet started out with an impromptu acoustic performance of Bittersweet with Eicca, Paavo and Perttu. It was amazing. At first I wasn't going to record but then I decided this will probably only happen to me once so I'd better get my camera out and record it for posterity. The guys were so close I could have reached out and touched them. During the performance I was smiling at Paavo and he looked up and gave me a wink. It's a miracle that I managed to hold it together. After they finished playing they put their cellos away and came back out with Mikko for the meet and greet. I had Perttu, Eicca and Paavo sign my shirt, I forgot to have Mikko sign it because I had extra prezzies for him and it was at the end of the meet and greet and they had to get backstage. I gave Eicca his loop scarf and he remembered that I'd given him one in September. He said that it kept him from getting the flu. ;-) Paavo said that he'd worn the humping deer hat a couple of times since I'd given it to him and he immediately put on the hat that I'd made for him. When I gave him his hat Mikko seemed genuinely surprised that I'd made something for him. I handed him the boxed beer and I told him.."be careful, there's beer in there. He seemed a little surprised by that too, like hmmm...why would someone give me beer. But as evidenced by this pic posted on FB this AM, I see that he knows why I gave it to him. Of course the best part of the meet and greets, Finnish cello boy hugs!! Michelle and I squeezed in up front and got ready for the show to start, it was amazing of course and the stage was so close that we could have reached out and touched it. The only problem with the small stage was that Perttu fell off of it! He stepped right off, landed on his tailbone and his right leg was bent backwards. He was a real pro and didn't drop his cello or miss a note. He finished up the show without any more incidents. After the show it didn't look like anyone was hanging out so I headed back to the hotel, said my goodbye's to Michelle and got ready for the next day. The breakfast at the Hotel was crappy so I drove to Port Huron and had a really late breakfast at Bob Evans. I crossed over the Blue Water bridge and headed to London. I got to my hotel and checked in, tried to take a catnap but there was a high school basketball team there making a ton of noise so a probably only got 15 minutes of sleep. I got ready and headed to the venue a little early. I'm glad I did there was very little parking and people were already starting to line up. I got in line and fortunately there was an overhang to stand under which was great because it was cold and rainy. When I got in the door Amy, one of my FB Apo pals was waiting for me. She'd secured a spot for us right up front. The set up was a little different, they had a pit with security and more of a barrier set up. The venue was larger as was the stage. The opening band was really good and they announced that they'd just been signed by Adam Grontier's label. Adam came out and sang on one of their songs. Apo took the stage and put on another amazing show, I think that they actually rocked it a little harder in London. Maybe it was because they had a larger crowd or a larger stage but they seriously brought it. There was even a mosh pit! That's only the second time that I've seen a pit at an Apo show, both in London ON. Crazy Canadians! ;-) Of course Adam came out and sang the lead on "I don't care" which was the song that he performed on the Worlds Collide album. It was so awesome to see the song performed with the original singer. I hung out after the show to say my goodbye's to the guys and give them the air freshener that I'd forgotten to give to them in Flint. I figured with 11 guys on the bus..they needed it. It took probably about an hour or so for the first of the guys to come out, I think it was Mikko and Perttu. I asked Perttu if he was OK and he said yes. I hadn't noticed any bruises or scrapes when he was on stage. I didn't get to chat with Mikko, he didn't stay out too long. Completely understandable if you've ever seen him on stage, I'm sure he's exhausted after a show. Eicca came out and when I had the chance I gave him the air freshener. His reaction was hilarious, he said "OH thank GOD!!" in his thick Finnish accent. He then made all kinds of wild spraying gestures and said that he sprays everything with it. He gave me massive amounts of hugs, he even gave me a huge squeeze and made huggy noises in my ear. (Squee) Of course the last one out...Paavo, nothing new there. Hugs, kind words and a photo. I headed back to the hotel and drove home the next day. No issues crossing the border this time. Phew!

Of course as for the knitted Apo prezzies...............

I realized that I forgot to get a picture of Eicca's scarf. I used the Purl ridge pattern, knitted it with my hand spun Shetland that I also hand dyed black with Wilton's cake dye. When I originally dyed the yarn it didn't fully take and when I knitted the scarf it was coming off on my hands PINK. I immediately got on to Ravelry in one of the dying groups and posted as to what was happening. As usual Ravelry saved the day and someone posted a solution to my dilemma step by step that I followed to a tee. It seemed to have worked and there wasn't any run off when I rinsed and blocked it on a white towel. I hope so anyway, I'd hate to see Eicca with pink hair!

For Mikko and Paavo's hat's I used respectively the Traveller's hat and Claudia hat pattern and my favorite worsted Shepherd's wool. So soft and warm. Blue for Paavo and Grey for Mikko. I had a color in mind for Perttu's gloves and found the perfect black with red fingering weight on Etsy. I used the Fitted Fingerless glove pattern, no ends to weave in!

As for events on the horizon? Nothing concrete still taking kettlebell classes. I plan on trying to work on more pin-up photography. There are more events coming up in the spring as far as that goes. Other than that we'll see where life takes me. Just looking forward to warmer weather. I'm sure you are too!

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Hibernation Hijinks

There's something about this time of year that makes me a little crazy and this year seems to be exceptional. I don't know if it's being cooped up or a recent events but I feel the need to bust out and do something completely out of my normal realm of possibilities. Everyone who knows my moderately well knows that I'm a big fan of pin-ups and burlesque. I've always looked at it as an art form and it's style and grace has always appealed to me. I've taken a couple of burlesque courses over the last couple of months and have met some interesting people from the local burlesque and pin up community. Maybe it's a pipe dream or it's somewhere on my bucket list but lately I've had thought of trying to get my foot in the door at some of these events. I even did some self portraits in the pin up style just to see if I could pull it off. We'll see, this could be fun! Welcome to my mid-life crisis ;-)

As for knitting and spinning, I've started Apo gifts round 2 as I'll be seeing them again at the beginning of March. I found a new pattern for fingerless gloves, some of the weirdest construction that I've ever done but....only 2 ends to weave in and NO gaps between the fingers to sew up. Yes, really! So hopefully these will fit Perttu, they're a little loose on me so they should work perfectly for him. The other guys will be getting cabled ski hats I haven't settled on pattern or colors yet. I don't think it's possible for me to top the "humping deer" hat.

I finished spinning the gold tencel blend it turned out shimmery and gorgeous. 500 yards of fingering/sport
weight. I also spun 360 yards of BFL tencel in "grapevine" which has deep purple, green and brown. Really lovely. The gold will most likely turn in to the "Pogona" scarf, I think it's one of those pattern karma moments where it's absolutely perfect for the intended project.

As for other things in life, not much else, still taking the kettlebell classes, Veronica really kicks my ass. She's tough but I have to say that over all I feel stronger and more toned. Work is work, I have been trying to go in, do the best I can with my patients and keep a low profile. Patient care is my priority not all of the politics and "processes". I mean, we are at the end of the day about people right? Other than that, I can't wait for winter to be over with. I am officially sick of the snow, sick of driving in it for sure. It was another white knuckle ride home yesterday. We had a surprise blizzard that dumped probably 3-4 inches of snow on us within a few hours. At least I have a couple of diversions scheduled, I have the Dirty Show on Valentines weekend and then Apocalyptica the first weekend in March. Can't wait! They should both be a really good time. Till next time keep warm and safe.